Saturday, October 10, 2015

Grandfather's Leaf

Weightless, cradled and rocked by a barely perceptible breeze, the single brittle leaf floated downward onto the eagerly waiting loam below. The poor hapless thing cursed to be consumed and converted to compost.

Over. End of story.

That leaf reminded me of my grandfather's long ago words--

"Life is like a leaf, when it hits the ground it's over, there is nothing more."

Over. End of story.

Haunting words.
Words that wrap around my chest like a too tight sweater and constrict my breath.

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most pitied."

Each fall, as the trees begin to shed their summer foliage, grandfather's leaf asserts itself in my head as an unwelcome walking companion.
On those evening walks, I pass cozy homes where palpable life pulses from dimly lit family rooms, and soft, amber sprays of light thread the street casting a warm glow across my path.
Seasonal wreathes and colorful door mats whisper welcome!
It's the epitome of home.

Home, where the lights are always on.

But it isn't long before the gentle night gives way to the wayward words of my grandpa-

An autumn wind pushes against my back with rude impatience.
A harvest of dried leaves, caught in the vortex of an Autumn current, frantically scratches the pavement in pursuit of me as if I were the pied piper of lost souls leading them to the afterlife of winter.

The leaves feel animate and their trailing deliberate. Desperate. Eerie.
I pick up my pace and pendulate my course to avoid the withered foliage but it seems they just match my every step.  I find myself praying the dead things relent and retreat.

Leaf words, one mans hopeless, earthly pilgrimage. A journey void of direction and subject to the mercy of a seasonal thermal that has no soul.
The thought of it makes me feel as dry as the leaves that nip at my heels.

I hope his words were just a simple musing and not a solid mindset.

I hope he made it home.

"In my father's house are many mansions...I am going to prepare a place for you. 
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take your to be with me 
that you also may be where I am. "

I hope he made it home

Blessed is the man...who delights in the law of the LORD,
He will be like a tree planted by streams of water...
whose leaf never withers.

1 Corinthians 15:19
Psalm 1:1-3
John 14:1-4

No comments: