What can a falling leaf possibly teach us about morality? Well as it turns out, quite a bit! Unlike a falling snowflake or a falling drop of rain, a leaf generally falls so slowly to the earth that you can watch it glide slowly downward until it hits the ground. Yeah, okay, sure. But how am I gonna get an education in morality from that?
You ask good questions!
We all fall in life. We fall off our bicycles, like a little girl just did in the park near me. We fall off the job market when we get fired, laid off, or resign. We fall from grace, whether it be our spouse's grace or God's, our child's grace or our neighbor's. We fall from our exercise routine, we fall from a wagon, we fall from responsibilities large or small, and we fall from ourselves. Falling happens to us constantly.
Yet these falls are all like snowflakes or raindrops. They happen so quickly, we don't even realize they're happening. One second they're above us, and the next they've fallen, melted away, or disappeared on the sidewalk.
A leaf though, it falls more slowly, gracefully. And when it eventually hits the ground in front of us, it just sits there waiting for the next step. So each leaf is a reminder for us to recognize the falls as they happen. Recognize how you've fallen from the tree of fitness to the cement of chubbiness, or the tree of stability to the rough weeds of an uncertain life, or even from the tree of wisdom to the high grass of doubt and uncertainty.
Leaves fall. Every year at this time, leaves do fall. And so too do we. Maybe not always from jobs or people ...or God. But we do fall in a thousand slow, less than graceful ways all the time. Like the leaves, the pattern of our fall is uncertain, the eventual resting place unknown. But unlike the leaves, we pick ourselves back up. We replant ourselves on the trees we choose to grow on. We are reborn a thousand times on the trees of wisdom, grace, and understanding. Leaves fall. Every year at this time, leaves do fall. We fall too, but then we learn. We learn to climb back up again.
Sean Patrick Brennan is the author of Heaven, Hell, and the Planet In Between
Book 1: The Uniter, available at online retailers worldwide and on Amazon at: