Most of my classmates are not aware of my imminent relocation. Hence, I’ve decided to clue them in today using this week’s prompt.
As a child of the autumn, I’ve always been drawn deeply into the hues and majestic colours autumn brings. In fact, driving or walking along and seeing the changing colours of the leaves in all their magnificent glory leaves me quite breathless at times. In my mind, autumn is many things….a prelude to the glory of winter, the end of the humid summers, the time of year when all things outdoors hold the greatest interest for me with the lack of insects, cooler temperatures, and the dazzling spectrum of warm colours on display.
Symbolically, I suppose, autumn is a time for letting go as leaves do when they fall from the tree to the ground. Autumn demonstrates the impermanence of things and reminds us of death. As a child, I remember glorying in jumping into and stomping on piles of crisp yet soft leaves of the autumn. Perhaps subconsciously I was showing death it had no hold on me. I was perhaps stomping out its power. As an adult though, autumn challenges us to live each day to the fullest because we are aware we won’t be here forever. It reminds us of things and loved ones we have lost along the way and how still we must go on…just as the leaves fall, but still the tree lives on.
In the lifecycle of leaves first comes birth exhibited by new leaf buds along the branches of a tree. In my own life, I’ve had many cycles of birth…being born, starting school, the birth of my marriage, having children, moving to a new place, and so on.
The next phase of leaf growth is development when, in exchange for food, the tree gives the leaves water and nutrients to make sugar sap which it then gives back to the tree to sustain it. In the personal scenarios I just mentioned, there was a period of development be it going from infant to toddler, from newlywed to celebrating anniversaries, in finishing one school and beginning another, or in moving to a new place and then beginning to sustain myself in that new place. Specifically, I can acknowledge that this club has sustained me over this long period of development I’ve just undergone and has even pushed me into new growth where there would have been none. Hopefully, I gave back by bringing something new to some of you in the group.
Once development in a leaf has crested, preparation for death in the formation of a scab and the ceasing of sap production begins. In my own life scenarios, this doesn’t necessarily mean death is approaching, but instead perhaps that it’s time to embrace new situations and begin again preparing for new growth. It’s also a time of tying up loose ends and taking stock of what you’ve gained and given and taking the needed moments to balance those scales.
The last phase of a leaf cycle is death when leaves turn colours from red to yellow, to purple and brown, and then finally falling from the tree to the ground. After this, the leaves break down into elements enriching the soil making it rich with potential. In life, there are no dead ends only new branches to explore. The branches of my tree are growing. This year, when the autumn leaves come again, I’ll be changing along with them in a new place….moving forward, and yet very much aware that I was once sustained on another tree in another place and how much more colour that tree added to me as a whole. My future endeavours will always be coloured with the splendor of my growth from autumn to autumn this year.