Happy New Year!
Welcome back to the Gardener Dragon’s blog. I hope that 2018 has been good to you. It’s off to a roaring start here in New England with the biggest snowstorm of the season upon us. I am grateful that I have the warmth of company from my husband, my hamster, my daughter and her friends in my home as I write. At 6:45 we’ll gather with our neighbors at my co-housing community’s common house for a delicious meal of black-eyed pea stew, collard greens and corn bread. I will be heading off for some gaming before that.
With a grateful heart I welcome this new year with wide open arms, and I resolve to write 12 fresh blogs this year ~ one per month! I give myself that goal because in addition to this blog, I write for SheWrites and Hub Pages. I am also working on two novels.
When seeking inspiration for my writing, I often look to nature. When the weather is mild, i.e. a range from warm summer sunshine to light snow flurries, I walk the wooded labyrinth at the south end of my community daily. I witness the wonders of life in the activities of the flora and fauna that live there. Birdsong, chirping crickets and the calls of peeper frogs are some of my favorite forms of music. I also enjoy the shower of rain sprinkling over me through the tree canopy above the labyrinth. In autumn, the vibrant colors in the leaves embrace me in a warm and cozy aura of love. After a light dusting of snow, sunlight is reflected in rainbows on the soft carpet blanketing the path.
One day in October, I walked around the woods by the labyrinth until I captured an image of a leaf falling from a tree. The leaf floated gracefully to the ground in the breezes ruffling the canopy of branches. The grace of the leaf’s descent came from the grace with which the leaf let go of the life it knew as part of the tree branch it sprouted and grew from. I imagine that the elder leaf bid her leaf siblings and nearby oak and maple friends a fond farewell as she let go of her hold on the branch and let herself descend to the ground.
The elder leaf was ready to let go of the life she knew in order to become part of the earthy humus that feeds the tree she fell from. She gave herself back to the earth as a gift. She was ready to become food for the tree that gave her life, or a gift found by a wanderer and pressed in a favorite book. She was ready to let go and give herself over to becoming part of a new reality without forethought of what that new reality would be. She was open to whatever she was called to be next.
Lying on the ground, she was the same leaf she had always been, but also more than what she once was. Her earthy fragrance became like a balm that lifts the heart of the pilgrim who picks her up and breathes her in. Her life became connected more closely than ever to the other leaves that had already fallen to the ground. Together, their lives ended. They were ready to rest under the frost and snow that covered them throughout the winter. They were at peace because they knew that that they would eventually become warm and glisten in the vernal sunlight as the wheel of the earth turned to the next place in her cycle of life.
I strive to be like the gracefully falling leaves of autumn. I want to let die within the parts of me that don’t fit anymore in order to rise to a new me in the spring. Winter gives us a transformational gestation time to reflect, renew our homes and ourselves, and emerge in the spring more fully the people we are meant to become. But that is not the end. Our lives are the journey, ever transformed by the moments we live among our fellow travelers of every species. Let us be transformed by the darkest, coldest months, to rise to the warmth of spring. Let each of us be a new life ready to blossom.