Written by Beth Meyer
I sit by the window and stare at the tree outside.
It is a tall majestic oak tree, and its leaves have turned golden and have begun to fall. They swirl in a rhythmic dance as they gently float on the wind, ultimately landing on the still-green grass.
I wonder if they know their cycle of life has ended and soon they will wither and dry, to be swept up by a plastic rake and then sucked into a vortex of air, lifted high to be used to protect or help grow, or destined for the landfill, or worse, a smoky fire.
Sometimes I feel like that leaf. Days go by when everything seems perfect. I am perfect. My life is perfect. Like a leaf, I am perched high above everyone else, blissfully going through the routine of my existence when suddenly, there is a shift in the air.
Nights are cooler; there’s a chill in the morning air. The sun doesn’t feel as warm on my skin. The wind stabs at my face, bringing tears to my eyes. Darkness falls much sooner than it did just a few weeks ago.
My alarm beckons me awake. I snuggle deeper into the covers that protect me. My strength is diminishing. I can feel it slowly leaving my body. Looking into my mirror, I don’t recognize the face staring back.
There is not much color on that face. The skin looks brittle and dry. Wrinkles have appeared around the eyes and mouth. Like a leaf, I am slowly nearing the end of my life. Like a leaf, there is nothing I can do to stop my destiny. Like a leaf, I twirl around and around and around.
And then I fall to the ground.