Growing Up

The Losing Of Leaves

The trees are becoming bare outlines, their leaves scattered on the ground. Their processes become smaller. So have mine. My life has shrunk, this year. Dwindled, really into something much smaller than it once was. In my younger days, I sprawled across friendships. I reached into all sorts of different worlds and roamed through different social groups. Unafraid to bend myself to light, I embraced darkness knowing it would pass and I, in turn, would still grow.

This is the time of year when the trees shed their leaves. They cannot afford to keep them; they reduce the drain on their now limited resources and focus instead on surviving. On staying alive and growing. I too, am shedding my leaves. This year I have grown tired of commitments, of making efforts I do not believe to be reciprocated. I no longer have energy to spare, unlimited time to give, any desire for small talk and pleasantries. My aim is truer and my goals are clearer. I will bend for light, and light alone.

Friendships have dried up and dissolved this year, retreated to the ground like dust. My list of Christmas card recipients is more than halved. Some have moved away, and technology should make the distance seem manageable, but I’ve noticed you can’t change location without undergoing some other kind of change, however similar you try to stay.

Other friends have just disappeared. One too many unanswered messages, I assume. Others have become blog readers, and readers alone. No matter that no person’s blog is an up to date representation of all that occurs in their lives. It’s easier to read about something than to hear about it. I’m not bitter; I understand – I, too, have learned the expense of arranging to meet. Besides, every now and then they comment, and I am aware that in a way, they are still there.

Perhaps on some faraway day I will regret the losing of the leaves. I am happy to be exposed and alone, right now – it feels almost necessary. Issues weigh me down. I am too tired, I have too little time, I am so focused on what I want to possibly get that I cannot focus on all the other things I could possibly give. Come Spring, I will be happy to deck myself out with foliage anew, with half-ideas and projects and time readily given. But right now, I discard my leaves, and even if I am not stronger for it I at least stand more chance of surviving. I had thought I was evergreen, and now I know better.

I walk in the woods, and I kick up the piles of mushy leaves, and I think of my own discarded plumage. Nature has mastered it – the leaves turn into soil and feed the roots. And under the crunch of my feet, the trees are still growing.

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  • Reply Isobel Baxter

    Wise words. As someone said, “you are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm”.

    November 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm
  • Reply Katie Henry

    What a beautiful metaphor, definitely something I can understand. Also lovely photos.

    November 27, 2017 at 8:07 am
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