Like A Leaf
by Graham Crossan
I've arrived at a time in my life when I feel like a leaf on a lawn.
I'm in late autumn now, having long ago dropped from my perch in the high branches of the big tree I was once a part of. I'm now a different kind of leaf. No longer do I project the generous green of good health I once did. These days I'm a wrinkled russet red, with arteries and inner workings exposed for all and sundry to see.
What they think from what they see is not the way I see myself.
I'm still performing a role. A new role, demanding a different approach. A new outlook. A new view. Around me, surrounding me, is a botanical bounty of life in different stages.
Cycles rotating. Some rising and others falling.
And this leaf on the lawn is cycling too. Nothing is as it was. Nothing will be as it is. It is, as the saying goes, what it is. It was also what it was, and will be what it, one day, will be. Nothing changes, yet everything does. We all make of things what we will. Even fallen leaves do that.
Down here the view is dramatically different now. Reduced. Shrinking, day by day. But it is still a view. If I continue looking up to where I once was, my outlook seems so desperately dreary. Cruelly diminished. Which is why I allow myself only an occasional glance into the past. Nothing is ever resolved by looking back, because the past is already decided. Lost in time. I have not enough time left to indulge in misery. I wish to move forward, not back.
But I'm only a leaf on a lawn. So I wait.
And when the wind blows, as it eventually will, the world around me will take on an element of drama. It, and my life along with it, becomes more dynamic. Not longer, no, but infinitely more interesting. And that's with me still trapped in a body almost devoid of strength, or any way of moving of its own accord.
So the 'leaf' that speaks is just a wind gust away from that other option of being a hope-less, help-less, lost leaf. A leaf that only sees what was before, and is now gone for good - or bad.
In my place out here I'm well aware that the gardener will come some time to rake up all the fallen leaves, and commit us to the compost heap. And that will be the end of life as a leaf, but not the end of everything. As loam, what's left of me will find its way back into the soil. Fuel for the next cycle. The next season.
And if the story I have read is true, that will be the best season.
Graham Crossan is an avid writer. On his blog, Bent Thumb Thinking, he documents stories that explore his road trip through life. Click here to visit his blog and read some of his other stories.
Graham was diagnosed with MND in November 2009.