Stare at the tree and see its truth. What do you see?
See the leaves? Can you see the teacher in the leaf or the message it brings?
Here is what I see when I see the leaf on the tree:
This is a leaf.
Every leaf is a leader, a teacher, a message, anonymous, unknown.
They are spiritual leaders among us whose message we often miss.
It is a powerful lesson to see a leaf more deeply than we normally do.
In the spring it buds, coming forth to serve the tree.
It is innocent, a bright green color, and it appears almost over night, as if by magic.
Without complaint it tireless works in the light it absorbs, transferring the light into the tree, and shielding the life below from the harshness of the noon sun. It allows itself to be consumed by insects who serve to carry the trees message, in the form of pollen, to the other trees.
When its job is complete and autumn comes it celebrates its sacrifice with fiery colors in a final offer of brightness to our world.
And then it falls to the ground, surrendering itself in a dance with the air as it flutters in the wind to the ground.
And, in its final act of giving, lying in a pile with its brothers and sisters on the ground, it slowly decays, surrendering its body to earth and soil to nourish new forms of life.
A leaf is innocent.
A leaf is a servant.
A leaf lives in the light.
A leaf is a messenger.
A leaf is nourishment.
A leaf is a beautiful, silent, teacher.
This is a leaf.
And what do we do with these leaves? We plant the trees where we want the tree to serve our needs for shade or decoration. We cut the tree down when it will not comply, and we burn it to keep our bodies warm so we live to find the next thing to satisfy our desires.
And for the trees we don't kill, we are annoyed by their leaves when they fall.
We see them as a nuisance to be managed.
We rake them up in piles.
We bag them up.
We burn them.
We discard them.
We pile them up in landfills so they can't give back to the tree from which they came.
We prevent them from being what they wanted to be and are.
We see them as a problem to be dealt with, unwilling to open ourselves up to their truth.
We miss their message.
This is the man.
Man is the controlling dysfunctional being going about his life believing he is in control of something he cannot even understand, seeing it not as the powerful teacher it is, but as something to be controlled, manipulated, dealt with, discarded.
This is man.
What happens if we just accept the tree, and the leaf, and let them be, and listen to their message?
Can a leaf bring you peace? It can for me.