How Like the Leaves We Are

We had a very windy day blow through here recently. It was forecasted, so I wasn’t surprised. What did surprise me, however, is that there were gusts that were of enough speed to shake acorns loose from a tree outside my window. The sharp tap never didn’t startle me – it was always unanticipated and my home is pretty quiet otherwise.

I looked out at the guilty tree several times throughout the day. I was watching the leaves which, even though the wind could break loose the acorns, could not get them to detach and swirl in the wind. Looking out at the same tree the next morning, with just a slight breeze ruffling those leaves, I began to ponder why they had held onto their branches yesterday “for dear life”. And then I began to think of the ways we humans have that same tenacity in some regards.

Whatever your age, the word ‘home’ always evokes the place of your childhood. Regardless of what our childhoods were like, ‘home’ was always what we deemed our place of safety. As children, we had no concept of the work it took to keep a roof over our heads, put food on the table, etc. ‘Home’ may not have been the place where we had physical safety nor emotional safety, but it was where our most very basic needs were met.

Of course, we reach an age where we desire nothing more than to get out of there! The rules and regulations of our parents while living under their roof seem archaic and unfair. When we turn 18 and “officially” become an adult, we need to move on to a place where we are the ones who set the rules for our lives.

Yet, making a change, especially a major one, is intimidating and full of fear. Stepping into a new chapter in our lives poses risks and makes us question our own ability to succeed. I’ve often used the quote, “The devil that you know is better than the devil that you don’t know”, and sometimes it feel safer to cling to what we know, even with its downfalls, than reach out for something new. It’s that thought that came to me as I watched the leaves struggle against the wind to remain intact – to stay in a place they knew rather than let go and let the wind take them where it may. Of course, leaves don’t have brains to know that, at some point in time, they will be taken from that place that they know!

And that is true for life as well. Changes do occur, whether they are changes we make happen or changes which occur due to an external force of some kind. It’s important, even while we’re clinging desperately to whomever or whatever provides us a safe feeling, that we are looking forward to a time when change will come and how we can prepare ourselves to adapt.

Life is akin to a body of water – no matter how big or how small. There is always a current, always a movement in the water. Individual droplets move, even when unseen to our naked eyes, in a way that will change the entire body of water. Like the water, it is important that we do not remain static in preparation for how life will unfold. And like the leaves, sometimes it’s better to let go and see where the wind takes you!