The Leaves of Change

There’s a red maple tree in my front yard that simply goes along with the inevitable change of seasons. The leaves go from green to a bright red,  then to a dried-up brown and finally the leaves fall off the tree. I’ll rake the leaves, mow over them and dispose of them. The tree is bare during the winter, blooms in the spring, becomes full in the summer, the leaves change again. The tree simply does what it was created to do and does not fear the upcoming changes.

What if we could live our lives open to a change of season? What if we could be so deeply spiritually rooted that we are ready no matter which season appears on life’s calendar?

Deep down, we fear change. Some people will do whatever they can to squeeze out the last drop of youth before they accept responsibility and face facts that they are getting older. The older generation conversely fears social change and longs for “the good ol’ days.”

However, what both sides don’t seem to understand is that life represents a simultaneous dichotomy of change and the status quo. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon mentioned “there’s nothing new under the sun.” Jesus mentioned that before his return life will go on as it did in the “days of Noah”- people lived their lives, married each other, and so on. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul  mentions that our temptations are common to man. I believe these three statements help put our daily thoughts and struggles in perspective.

Think about all of the people who lived before you- they were born, they worked, they raised families, they tried to be decent people in an indecent world, they prayed, they cried, they either faced or fled from what life gave them, and one day they died. You have the DNA of survivors and fighters running through your bloodstream at this moment. You can and will get through this. This too shall pass.

Then the thought arises that we too shall pass. Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher, compares our lives to the leaves:

“The wind scatters one year’s leaves on the ground…so it is with the generations of men.” (Meditations 8.34).

Let us face today making the most of the time we have left in our season of life. Let us be thankful for each moment that we have and embrace those around us. Life will change, but it will continue, welcome it.

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4 thoughts on “The Leaves of Change

  1. We must embrace life. Yes we grow old and we have to let go of some of the things we did when we we’re younger. It’s ok. You can still have great moments and enjoy life. It just don’t have to be as it was. It can change and still be great. I don’t like changes. Sometimes have to make an effort to include new stuff into my life. I don’t jump on every new stuff, but I do try to include some of them. I look ahead and I’m full of hope. New is not always better then the old, but if you keep an open mind you’ll find some new stuff that are worth the effort. Have a great day!

  2. Hi! I just wrote a pretty long opinion and the page decided to reload now I am pissed! But you see I am a lot older today at 50 and I know better than to punch a hole in the wall or throwing something because accepting responsibility happened long ago and I did not have to squeeze out the last drops of youth to do it. I know if those things happened, I would not like the consequences, so I don’t react that way when I get angry anymore. There are much safer ways to deal with anger now.
    Today at 50, I still feel like I am twenty something….in my head. I do not fear getting older, although I do find myself looking in the mirror sometimes and I notice a little more gray hair, a hairline that is receding, and maybe some bags under my eyes. I know I am getting older, but I don’t fear it anymore.
    I started working at my dads funeral home when I was 12 years old. That is when he made me watch my first embalming. That kind of messed with my head a bit. After witnessing the aftermath of suicides and car accidents which included quite a few friends of mine, I knew that life was very fragile and I could die at anytime. Then came 9/11. I was there on the day after to help looking for the ones that didn’t survive. It was the worst tragedy I ever witnessed. The smell of death was every and seeing what very large concrete buildings can do to a person when they fall on them was surreal. That really messed with my head, but today, I am actually ok with death. For some reason, I don’t fear it anymore.
    I do have some really beautiful memories of the “good ol’ days”, but I do not long for them. Today, I can just live my life the best way I know and that will make more good ol’ days. I am in control of my future past.
    I try to keep up a bit with social change, but I am also ok with not getting it all. In no way do I fear it. Why should I? I still feel like I am twenty something.

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