Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Fall of One Leaf . . .

To be brushed by a leaf in its only fall to the earth on a November day in Georgia is to be touched by the comforting truth of life and death. Or is it the appalling truth? Either way it causes me to inbreathe the breath of the universe---the same breeze the leaf rode---and pause for the moment.

To ponder the life cycle of that single leaf among the millions that will fall in this yard in this month in 2009 is to perceive the relative insignificance of my 60th birthday this week. To the earth it is commonplace as a single leaf falling. To me and the oakleaf, our respective turning 60 and falling to the earth are momentous occasions. It is as it should be, this stepping or falling into the third third of one's life, and it signals the truth of what my mother said about many things. "Thus it has ever been."

My thirty-year-old daughter, Hannah, offered an equally comforting truth when I shared with her my angst about turning sixty in the face of unaccomplished goals. "Sixty-schmixty," she said. dkm

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