It wasn’t until I was out among the trees that I could really feel the depth of what you said.
Then I felt it all at once: the miracle of being loved, the significance of that connection. Loving you back just for having felt it too.
Suddenly I felt an immense kindness in the fallen leaves beneath my feet; life given as sacrifice, the contribution of one year’s growth to the next.
In all the old stories they seem to agree that trees don’t mind the separation of themselves that comes with autumn – the trees understand that seasons must pass, and so they do; Larry the Leaf knows it’s his purpose to separate and fall and die, embracing the final chance at beauty on the way down.
But it occurs to me there must be years that the tree feels ambivalent about its loss, a particularly fine band of leaves it was reluctant to separate from, a tribe with whom it suffered and survived more than the usual number of storms. Years when it’s harder to let go. What a year we had. Years when the leaves beneath our feet signify a greater sacrifice than usual.