There is something about the autumn that brings out a certain love of life. It might be the brilliant colours as nature sheds its foliage to prepare for rest and rebirth. It might be the leaves falling and subsequently blowing around with the wind, almost as if they are engaging in one final dance before becoming mulch and fertilizer. Autumn is resplendent in all of her glory and while some feel depressed with the shorter days and winter looming, stop a moment and look around and enjoy the beautiful show that nature has placed before us to enjoy.
Invariably when fall arrives I am enamoured with the colours, the falling leaves and the rustle and crunch you get when walking. There is something quite playful about kicking the fallen leaves before you. It is, at its most basic, a reminder to enjoy the little things and the little pleasures that you can find all around you in this life.
This time of year I am also reminded with the falling leaves that another year is waning and for some their season of life has changed. So fall always reminds me to go back and read a short little book that was recommended to a group of us by a neonatal nurse many years ago. It is called The Fall of Freddie the Leaf. The author is Leo Buscaglia. It is a story of life. Freddie and his companions face many changes with each season that passes, finally falling to the ground in the autumn and being covered by a blanket of snow. The story, from the perspective of a leaf, reminds us all of the delicate balance that we have in life.
As the leaves slowly drop off there is a beautiful conversation between two leaves, Freddie and Daniel.
“I’m afraid to die,” Freddie told Daniel. “I don’t know what’s down there.”
“We all fear what we don’t know Freddie. It’s natural,” Daniel reassured him. “ Yet you were not afraid when spring became summer. You were not afraid when summer became fall. They were natural changes. Why should you be afraid of the season of death?”
“Does the tree die too?” Freddie asked.
“Someday. But there is something stronger than the tree. It is Life. That lasts forever and we are all a part of Life.”... “Then what has been the reason for all of this” Freddie continued to question. “Why were we here at all if we only have to fall and die?”
Daniel answered in his matter of fact way, “It’s been about the sun and the moon. It’s been about happy times together. It’s been about the shade and the old people and the children. It’s been about colours in Fall. It’s been about seasons. Isn’t that enough?”
This beautiful book reminds us all that we each have seasons in our lives. Some seasons are longer than others but within each there is beauty to be seen and joy to be found. It also reminds us that though seasons may also be short we can avail of the opportunities that are before us and celebrate each and every opportunity that we have. Laugh, cry, dance, embrace the good, work through the bad and know that with each experience, with each season of life that we enjoy for however long we have to enjoy it we will gain new perspective. No matter what season in life you are currently in look for the joy and the beauty around. Everyday will not be a wonderful day but it will afford us new opportunities, new things for which to be thankful and when we finally come to our winter we will again find new opportunities and new beginnings.