I think of the pace of the seasons. Some leaves are lost early when a wind comes through and breaks the branch upon which they live. Others survive through the summer but at the first hint of autumn surrender and drop to the ground. Still others turn beautiful colors before finally giving way. And occasionally there is that one leaf that hangs on tenaciously long past the time when it should have gone.
I think of my mother.
She should have been gone several times now. This past year my siblings and I have thought that she would leave us within days several times. Yet like that last leaf she clings tenaciously to her life, not willing to give in yet, not willing to give up her view of the sunset, not willing to lose her grasp even as the last gasp of the season gives way to the dead of winter. She is that yellowed, sere leaf that surprises the wind with its determined grip on this life.
There are those leaves that hang on, and we don’t get to decide when their time is due. They let go when they let go, when it is time for them. It seems one leaf may hold on just a bit longer yet, perhaps to fall gently into the snow-white landscape of winter, perhaps one of those that still clings through the winter and sees a new spring, or perhaps to fall with the next storm. I can’t know. All I know is that it hasn’t been that time so far and I should be thankful for each day in every season.
I look at the tree in front of me and realize that I have always loved and admired those leaves that hang on despite the ravages of the seasons.