Golden Leaves, Golden Hearts


I find myself staring a picture of golden leaves, admiring its glow, its vibrancy, even as it's dying.

How can it be so full of life, you ask? Because it knows, with all its heart, that it will come back again, more beautiful than ever before, its determination to live a glimmering dew on its fingers.

I stare. I ponder. I wonder about the simple life of a tree which cannot speak, cannot think, cannot hear, cannot feel. But, then again, maybe we are the ones who cannot do all those things. Maybe it's speaking to us in ways that we cannot fathom. Maybe, with every wave of its branches, it's saying something. Saying, "Come here. I have something to show you." 

Then, it shakes. Its leaves fall all around you, full of color, full of life, dancing circles around you and each other. Laughing, almost. Could they be laughing? Exuberant and gleeful, as they twirl and leap, toss and sway, waltz their way downwards? Towards the ground, flat as it were; but, perhaps, more than that, more than we could possibly see for ourselves.

But as it shakes, I notice the trunk, the roots, keeping it planted firmly in one place. Breathing the same air, day after day, month after month. Dying. Then, welcoming the same air in the spring, like an old friend. It has a deep bond to the earth, which it cannot leave, and to the sky, which is its closest companion. A bond we cannot even begin to imagine.

Why were we even created? It's hard to say. We have an amazing ability to create, to invent, to advance society. To think. But do we think of all the right things? Perhaps not.

Because every tree has a story. Maybe its a story of love, of the earth and the sky, of treachery, of song and dance. Maybe its a story of hope. Maybe we're wasting an entire lifetime thinking about the newest Apple product and the prices of gas when there's an entire world full of beautiful things that might know a little more about life than we do.

So when you get the chance, stop and just look at a tree. Look at its leaves, its roots, the way it moves, then think. When times are hard for us, we cry, we make bad decisions, we struggle, but when times are hard for this tree, it continues to dance. Peacefully. Quietly. Happily, it seems.

It cannot announce its defeat. It cannot complain. What it can do is live, until it can live no more.

Because it believes, with all its heart, that it can.