The Autumn leaf falls away and the breeze gently carries it onwards and downwards – just like the many that went before it and the many that are to follow.
There is no drama. There are no tears or tantrums. The tree does not lament and the leaf does not bemoan its fate. They both know that this is part of the great cycle that is much older than they are. They understand that there is a season for everything and that the leaf has served its purpose. It is now time for a change. Just like the stem of the leaf and the branch have let go, the leaf and the tree let go of their attachment and seek the freedom and the new life this change brings.
Spring will see new leaves shoot out of the very branch that now looks gnarly and barren. Life will begin anew and the once naked tree will soon be cloaked in its thick mane of leaves again. The birds of Spring will rejoice in this miracle.
And what of the Autumn leaf? The journey continues even for this lonely castaway. It begins a new chapter upon being reunited with the earth and its ground-dwelling creatures. Squirrels will earnestly forage under it. Dogs and children will roll around on it with glee. Worms will devour it. And it will nourish the earth so that the tree, or one just like it, may grow yet another leaf.
In time, the once mighty tree will also fall. And if man did not intervene, its fate would be much similar to that of the leaf: it would decay on the ground, where it now stands so that it could serve as nourishment to the new life that springs forth around it.
For each, the story continues eternally.
In this way, the humble Autumn leaf teaches us that change is not a cruel destroyer – something to fear or lament – but a facilitator and the giver of life.