Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Autumn Leaves

We were finishing lunch in the cafeteria on the ground floor of Carswell's head office. Suddenly my manager went outside to the patio and returned with the biggest leaf I'd ever seen.

"Here you are - an autumn leaf from Ontario for you," she announced.

This afternoon I thought of something my Dad had said at one time or another, something about how the autumn leaves don't have to be shaken or pulled off the tree; they will fall in their own good time, making way for the tender green buds to emerge in the spring. We can't force their hand or speed up the cycle of life in a tree by trying to strip off the old, dead leaves. We just have to wait.

Like a butterfly fighting to emerge from its chrysalis: if we were to try to cut open that fragile strongbox, the butterfly will not develop strength enough to enable it to spread its wings and finally flutter upward and away.

Like cracked ribs.

Like bananas. Sure you can pick them up in the grocery store, all golden and no black flecks, the result of careful heat-lamp ripening. But their flavour is negligible compared with the sweet, sun-ripened fruit we enjoy in Kerala. 

And that's sort of like the cycle of our own life too, isn't it? We might want to see something happen with all due despatch - after all, we know that the anticipated event will inevitably take place - but certain things cannot, must not, be rushed.

Like grief. It charts its course and commands us to come along. But grace comes along as well; and the two of them will come to an understanding if we only draw strength from what each has to teach us.

The great King Solomon's "journal," Ecclesiastes, reads in the third chapter and verse 11, "He has made every thing beautiful in his [its] time."

We just have to wait, thankful that there is a time and a season for everything.

And we can revel in the crisp chill of this vivid season as it ushers out the heat of summer and buffers us from the cold to come.


(Here's one of my favourite versions of that old standard, "Autumn Leaves," sung by the incomparable Eva Cassidy. Eva and her music only became known outside her immediate circle five years after her death from cancer in 1996. She was 33.)

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


  1. So beautiful to see the Fall as simply making way for Spring. So it is in life. God be with you in this season! Thanks for sharing Eva today! Her melody and your words lilted and danced in my mind like leaves in the autumn breeze.

  2. I love Eva's voice & music. thx for your thoughts


I love to hear from you! Please leave me a leaf to read ...