As I consider the things I’m reading in a restorative book of spiritual practice, I’m drawn to walk more, notice more, seek the meaning hidden in more.
Today that meant a neighbourhood walk that drew me to a lake edge, and there, as I allowed the breeze to chill me and the sun to warm me, I noticed…leaves. Yes, it is fall. Yes, they were yellow against the lake stones and rather obvious. And yes, I was looking for colour somewhere in my subconscious. But there was more.
A memory stirred up of a piece I once wrote, and what led up to it when I found myself years ago, surrounded by leaves just like this one… and felt a love bestowed on me through thousands of heart shaped leaves…
This morning it happened again, the heart shapes echoing love, but there was more. Because the leaves were in various stages of being themselves, still clinging to the tree, newly fallen to the ground, and in process of becoming humus…that sweet and necessary process of dying and decay…I considered more.
Some leaves were more transparent than the freshly fallen. Their veins stood out as sunshine backlit them and they were oddly beautiful too, edges cracked, parts missing, and glorious in transition from bud to leaf to something else entirely.
I thought of the seasons of my life, the desires I have to do something big, something that matters, and the words of my husband so lovingly meeting me there and saying, yes, of course you do, and one day you will go from this earth and people will forget who you were…and what you did. The truth in those words.
What if I never publish a book of poetry, what if I don’t do anything wonderfully lasting, what if…can I be OK in who I am in this place, in this season of mid-life and launches of young adult children, in the angst and questions and tension of being a spiritual being…and just be?
There is a loveliness in how the leaves lay on the beach stones, in the sunshine, in their season of glory, and what I notice now is how they hold, tentatively, for such a short time, water left over from yesterday’s rain.
Look, how the small droplets reflect the light. Look, how beautiful, how momentary, and for what greater purpose? Perhaps a bird will drink there. Perhaps the leaf will blow away and the water disperse into the ground? And the leaf will continue on in its process and final purpose of becoming earth itself.
Perhaps a woman, walking, will stop for a moment, take a photograph, and consider again what it means to be enough.