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An Unforeseen Journey

It started well past Spring when this little leaf decided to finally emerge, the last of the many.

All others had long since grown to their full size, and now, adorned in bright colors, they tittered and twirled ... and just plain ignored this new comer.

No matter how much he tried, no matter how nice and polite he was, they just snubbed him ... “Too little by far ... Not one of us ... A discard, just not good enough... Who does he think he is, trying to buddy up to his betters ...Shame, I say, shame on him ...”

And so he sat, alone, rejected and dejected, with no-one to call friend ... sigh ...

Seasons warmed, the Sun grew bright, the grass greener and all other leaves fatter and stronger, all clamoring together in a social cacophony, a togetherness that was not quite complete ... for the little leaf had not grown, much, was still shunned, ignored and discarded ... and now he sat, morosely staring into nothing, for nothing was expected of him ... Oh, what a future to not contemplate ...

... Days passed and seasons grew, until one day, late into summer, this new breeze came along, with scents from lands far away, and a most curious outlook on life.

Well, here’s another foreigner...” the other leaves all said “Why is he here ... he’s not one of us ... Don’t trust him, he smells funny ...” and so they all turned their conceited back on him, denying him even the most common courtesies.

But the breeze didn’t care - he’d seen his share of bigots, of intolerant small-minds, and these were not even that good at their elitist arrogance ...

So he did what most mature Beings would do - pay no attention to the foolish ... and leave them to their own self-created corruption ...

But, as he was about to depart, he noticed the little leaf, sitting apart from this vile crowd ... and something made him stop “Well, color me curious ... here’s one who survived the madness”.

And so he approached, and took the time to introduce himself... and slowly, barely trusting, the little leaf responded ... and the two began to talk, sharing ribald stories of his wild, foreign travels in return for a deeper insight in others’ folly... “Life is a great journey... you get to choose what to fill it with”.

Day after day they met, sharing and bonding, growing closer and closer ...until the final season was upon them.

Already many leaves had started to fall, losing their bright colors in favor of browns and russets, covering the ground as a multi-colored carpet - a splash of blush against the graying skies.

... Still the little leaf hung on, desiring one more conversation with his intriguing friend ... which he did, and now content, he readied himself to wait for his end.

Not wanting to follow others [for now he knew that he would never be like them - nor would he want to] and so he sat, all alone on the barren branch ... still contemplating ... nothing ...

As the fallen leaves grew brittle, crushed and broken by the harsh, cold winds, here came a little boy, looking for treasure - hoping to find at least one ‘pretty leaf’ to add to his collection.

With eyes downcast, all he saw was moldy pieces, unsightly and unpleasant to behold ...everywhere ugliness...

Disheartened he turned to go until he heard a murmur, a sigh ... he looked up and his eyes lit up with joy and expectation ... There, perched all alone, was the most beautiful, perfect leaf he’d ever seen ... radiantly dressed in autumn colors, still bright with life

Will you come with me ...” he asked, hoping...”You’re so beautiful, I can only ask if you join me and my collection ... I promise to take good care of you ...”

Intrigued the little leaf stopped, and for a moment pondered about choices and futures ... and without more thought, gently let go of the branch and lightly flitted into the boy’s hand...

And so began a most unusual journey ... of show-and-tell ... of sharing proudly with a little blonde girl ... of being framed and shyly given as a birthday present ... of witnessing young love grow and blossom ... of marriage and children born ... of family dinners and togetherness ... of truth, respect, and joy ...

Here he is now, still in his glorious colors, framed and displayed in a special place, looking down at his family ... finally knowing the meaning of a life well spent ... sigh ...


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