This morning I took a walk in Central Park which is close to my home. It is a "poetry" morning - I can see Haikus everywhere in the lowering clouds and trees giving forth their last bit of color. The feel is soft- warm; Fall wants to be gentle today until the rain comes in later.

I walked past a few Sycamore trees and my eye caught the underside of a  huge leaf. I walked by. But then the leaf called out to me, "Come back, pay attention, I want to tell you something!" It is a huge leaf (20" across!) and I thought of the story it could tell, so I picked it up. The first story it told was about what we share in common. The veins in the leaf were so distinctive, they bulged up and fanned out. I looked at the back of my hand- my veins too are bulging as they fan out. A sign of aging hands. The leaf told a story of color - green and yellow had given way to brown. There is blessing in this process of budding leaf, to summer bright green, to Fall yellow. There is blessing in the seasons of my life. There is wisdom in the cycle. The stem of this leaf was very tough and twig-like. I guess you need a sturdy stem to hold such a leaf on a tree! At its end, the stem splayed out into a little bowl that had been connected to the twig. It told the story of the exchange of nutrients and water being shared between leaf and tree in the amazing dance with the sun we call photosynthesis. I thought about how relationship is so vital to life - to my life. Now the leaf had piroeted to Earth and would be compost: the story of giving everything. 

I carried the leaf home with me. As I continued my walk people stopped and commented on the leaf: "Wow! That's a big leaf; That is cool; That is amazing!; Where did you get it?" The leaf was an object of attention and wonder. I thought of the gospel story of Zaccheus, the tax collector who scrambled down from a Sycamore tree to meet Jesus. Zaccheus paid attention. What a gift attention is!

Photo Courtesy of a Sycamore Leaf


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