Keep it simple, silly

Friday, August 22, 2003

...I thought you might like this..

By a bubbling creek in a forest on a hillside stands a big tree. For many years it has been there, observing the world around it quietly, steadfastly, gathering wisdom.

Though not deciduous, like most trees it has occasion to shed a leaf or two every now and then. This is the tale of one such leaf, dropping silently, swinging softly earthwards one summery day.

This was by no means a special leaf. But one of thousands on a single tree surrounded by many others in its particular place in the bush, it had nothing to distinguish itself from the millions of others it floated down to join on the forest floor.

Soon after it had landed, a gust of wind found the leaf and carried it lightly, so that it danced end over end, swirled a circle or two and came to tumble down by the bank of the creek, where it lay for a while decomposing in the dampness.

Much of the leaf still remained intact when, one wet evening the creek began to rise, and in so doing picked up and carried the leaf with it on its tumultuous path downwards, ever downwards. Racing over rapids, lying seemingly still in pools and meandering around bends from time to time, the little leaf slowly became more and more insignificant, becoming but a skeleton of its former self.

But its journey continued until one day, many moons after it departed its host, the remnants of the leaf found its way to the sea, where it was buffeted and bashed against the rocks relentlessly by the waves, churning it into so many tiny particles that it would never be recognisable as a leaf again.

Which is where such a story would normally end, but a lot had happened to the leaf along the way.

From the moment it began decomposing by the creek, the leaf began taking on other lives. There, it became a part of the soil that nourished the trees and plants around it, with small parts of it being soaked up and into the world it had left behind. As it was carried down the river it continued to fragment, similarly helping to nourish the life it passed by. Then, when it reached the sea, it took very little time to become but another indistinguishable part of the ocean. The very same ocean that is constantly called upon by our skies to fill the clouds that water the world’s wilderness.

That little, insignificant leaf became, in some way, a small part of millions upon millions of leaves around the planet. And every time one of these leaves is shed, it spreads that leaf’s lifeblood even further. There is now a little bit of that leaf in every living thing around you, and every living thing around you will one day be a part of such a leaf. Even you.


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