Losing my leaves
The season of 2020 has been like no other.
I don’t know whether it has been hot or cold, rainy or dry. I don’t know even how long it has lasted or when it will end. A singular, enduring season.
I don’t really remember now, but figure it began with the budding promise of any new season. New year. Life waking, welling up, promising to burst forth.
But then, the winds came. While my bows were not broken, they still express the bend of the wind, the subtle arch that tells you where it came from and where it was going, and showing what it left behind. A bend that says I survived but not without a story to tell, not without a little bit of wear. Forever changed.
And then disease silently struck. I didn’t see anything - I couldn’t - but I knew others were falling. I didn’t see them fall. I didn’t hear them fall. But, they fell, and it changed me.
I am left here - to reach deeper, to understand my ground, to hold what I cannot touch, to feel what I cannot see, to find something new, within. I reach to the wisdom deep in my cells.
I inhale the beauty that remains free, above, encompassing - articulated in stark contrast to the fallen, shadow, below. The sun hits me differently now.
And then the dog days set in. A hyperventilating time when heat consumed oxygen, when my leaves warmed in thirst, starving refreshment, some drying and cracking and falling amidst the intensity, the urgency. They were false suggestions of a changing season. All of me simply could not endure.
Only the season endures intact.
And now, I am losing my leaves. All of them this time. I amidst the others, above and below, wondering how some stand barren while others glow - in reds and yellows and oranges - more alive than ever.
I wonder how they see me. I feel frail. Limbs exposed. Bare.
But, even in 2020, even in the absence of time, the singularity of season, in the futility of place, in the intensity of the unknown, in the reduction of my self outward, expansion inward, I take solace in that deep wisdom I found in my cells:
In this season, I don’t need leaves to be alive. I just need roots.
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