Friday, October 31, 2008

My Leaf Ritual to Celebrate the Season

I have a little ritual that I've been doing every fall for the past several years. It's one of those things that helps me to stop and smell the roses... to pause and appreciate life in its ever changing form.

During the autumn, I am always amazed at the spectacular show that nature puts on in changing the leaves from green to a vibrant rainbow of color. It is one of the greatest natural art shows around.

Each day, when I go out to lunch in the fall, I select a leave from somewhere near the restaurant I'm going to and take the leaf with me to put on the table as a little centerpiece for my meal. I do this whether I'm alone, or with other people.

The leaf on my table right now is a blazing red, Orange and yellow maple leaf. It's pretty large, with a long yellow stem on it. Stunning.

Sometimes I notice people outside noticing me picking out my leaf. Often there is a little smile of delight on their faces. It makes me happy knowing that I'm touching their heart in that moment. A grown woman, acting like a kid in a candy store picking out 'my' leaf.

One day a couple weeks ago, I was sitting in a restaurant, with my leaf on the edge of the table. A party came in to be seated, and a little boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old looked admiringly at my leaf as he walked by. A few minutes later, I saw him go running back by my table. I assumed he was on his way to the restroom, but about 3 minutes later, he came back by with several leaves in his hands. He took them to his table, and I watched him give each person one of his carefully selected leaves!

I was really touched by the fact that my little ritual had caught his eye, and that he had taken it upon himself to share the beauty of the autumn with his family in this way. This sort of appreciation for life and nature is, indeed, contagious! I had spread the reverence without even trying!

Next time you go out for lunch, and find yourself near a tree with it's leaves changing and falling... why not give it a try?

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