Fear of the Fall

Why does it fall? Why do I fear that incorrigible annual ritual that the trees perform every year with the slow decapitation of its bountiful leaves? Is it not the most depressing sight of them all? Perhaps there are reasons beyond the physical and logical explanations of the leave’s plummet towards their inevitable demise on the frozen morning’s dew; however, these reasons are hidden to me behind Mother Nature’s curtain and Father Time’s sleeve. All I truly know is that this “falling” of sorts is the single most diabolical partnership next to Brutus and Caesar. It’s most unfair, for the leaf, which has to endure such a time. Is the leaf not meant out to be the companion of the tree? Does it not gather itself and live solely for the purpose of simply being with the tree?
How beautifully tragic the life of the leaf is. It begins as a ripe bud, eager for the Earth and eager for growth. It grows so beautifully, outstretched hands and prime veins developing new canals this way and that, and along with this, its partnership with its tree grows even more than the rest. Day and night the leaf and tree spend together, whispering secrets with the wind, and dancing in the air…how beautifully they grow together. Their growth keeps them together; it keeps the leaf alive. This relatively thin connection somehow survives tumultuous storms and the carnage of chaos of the world trying to tear the leaf from its tree, but the leaf never leaves its tree; it holds on for dear life because it knows that its only hope of continuation of its beautiful life is by that tree and that tree only. Through the sunniest of mornings and the darkest of evenings the leaf and tree stay together; one might think that the companion ship would last forever, but sadly, it never does.
The winds die to a slow roll and the seemingly perfect connection of the leaf and tree is hindered by the apparent attempt of Earth tilting itself in order to shake the two separate, and quite usually it is successful. One by one the fibers connecting the two entities are dried until the force holding the pair together could be mistaken as the wrinkles around an aging man’s smiling eyes. From the inside out the leaf dies a little every day without the flow of good health from the tree. The corners of the leaf erode away and get caught by the wind the same way a kite gets flown by a narcoleptic. The leaf, despite the gloomy future that is almost inevitable, still latches onto the tree’s extended hands in meager hope of living again; he’s keenly aware of the contrite fact that a single fall would mean a fall forever, with no hope of ever returning to his beautiful tree. Despite the best efforts, he falls anyway.
Back and forth, back and forth, how beautifully horrific the leaf’s fall is. Gracefully it catches the wind and floats closer to the trunk, away from the hundreds of other leaves from before. A nearby spectator might note that this particular leaf took its time to reach the ground, as if, perhaps the leaf hesitated to reach the ground, like the leaf belonged on the tree and anywhere else would be poisoned by the lack of the tree’s touch. Eventually, the leaf does reach the ground. It stays on the ground and crumbles into dry paper and is crushed away like the cold and lonely log ravaged by a passionate fire. The leaf finds its end buried underneath piles of white powder with no Lazarus effect possible; he is lost beyond all repair and can never become the bright green leaf he was so pleased to be, and he is forever in this dry state, only anticipating what breeze will carry him away next, or if he’s lucky, a stomp from an alien giant which would extinguish his dread.
All the while the tree patiently waits for her leaf to come back, to helplessly wander and find his way back to her branch, how beautifully patient she waits. She waits until the sky turns that bright blue shade that can only be reached with the perfect mix of an ambient sun and perched green grass. The same blue that, for unknown reasons, gives a sense of entitlement to the world, a fondness that only is pierced by the fierce storms of winter. She can feel the promise of new buds attempting to join her, but an unkempt feeling inside of her roots say that none of these buds will turn out like the leaf before. Yet she continues to absorb herself within the surroundings. How envious she is that the other trees never have to lose their gentle extensions of themselves. How blessed those other trees must be, for they never have to painfully accept the curse that comes in the dreadful stages of autumn. How lucky they are indeed, to never have to bear the tidings that come with the fear of the Fall.


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