I was just standing in the kitchen, fixing coffee, looking out the window, thinking. Outside the leaves on the neighbor's tree, yellow and fading, were moving softly, dancing in a gentle breeze. Swaying, swirling, in the sun light as they clung to limbs gracefully arching over the yard. I just stood there, waiting for them to begin their slow descent from the heights and safety of the tree. But the leaves held fast, never letting go. I walked away with my coffee, returned to my room, sat down at my computer, and thought about those leaves.
Fall is in the air, the days and nights are getting colder here in Idaho. Squirrels are scampering about in the yard, preparing for the winter. Every now and then I hear the sound of a walnut, heavy with its fruit, hit the roof above my head with a THUD just before it rolls down to the cold earth below. Cushioned by a bed of yellow leaves, the walnut rests, its life cycle almost complete. Rich in fat, soon it will be discovered by one of those squirrels, who will carry it off to a secret place, where it will lay until the time is right for it's purpose to be served. The day will come when that solitary walnut provides the nourishment to sustain another of God's creatures through the cold harshness of the winter season. The cycle will be complete, yet never ending.
Sitting in my room, through the window the sky is blue, and were it not for the warmth of the sweater I have wrapped around me, I could almost believe it was summer again. Here, in this room, I can not see the leaves of the walnut tree slowly fading away. What I see is the evergreen of several aborvitae, standing tall and straight along the fence line, always reaching up. From my room, the view is very different than the view in the kitchen. Through one window, the scenery is changing, and through another, it remains the same. Life, it seems, is like that.
Through the window of our eyes, and hearts, we see the landscape of our life. We can touch it, smell it, hear it, know it, live it. It's just there. And as we travel on our journey we meet people, and sometimes they become a part of our landscape. We hear them, see them, feel them, know them, love them. And we can touch them, both physically and in many other ways.
The other day, I posted a poem I wrote many years ago to an AOL poetry group. For years it has laid in an old spiral bound notebook from my high school days. I have shared that poem with only one person before. Someone very special to me. And it touched him. But the other day, I thought it was time that poem saw the light of day. They are simple words, written long ago as I struggled to understand my life's purpose. When I posted it, I had no expectations. I just wanted to awaken the poem from it's long, silent slumber. To bring it back to life. On that day it took on a life all its own. It's words touched another person in ways I never thought of. Rising to another gloomy day, they too had been looking out the window, feeling...lost, yet hopeful. Then they read my poem, and saw the gift I had given. In one simple act, I gave another person something special, a different view. So moved by my words, this individual was inspired to honor my feelings in their own poem about that moment in their life. They too, posted it to the poetry board. And I have shared my poem with you, as well. Scroll down a couple of entries and you'll find "A Tear and A Smile" living in this journal.
I'm looking out the window again. Gone is the blue sky, replaced by the heaviness of thick, grey clouds moving in from the west. It would be easy for me to let those clouds darken the life of this day, but I won't. They are, after all, just clouds that come and go, here one minute, gone the next. Like the landscape of life, with its vibrant colors living each day in the moment, soft and subtle, yet strong and bold, we humans have within ourselves a wonderful power. The power to live, to grow, to love, and to touch another. Our strength lies in our numbers, and together we can create simple miracles in the landscape of another's life. It happens every day, whether we see it ornot.
Look around you because it is there. Sometimes it just depends on your view.