Oct 22 2010

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Organic World

Posted at 7:34 am under Blog Post

For a week now, the leaves have been drifting down steadily.  This season has an appropriate name: fall.  Recent rainstorms and accompanying winds have accelerated the process, putting leaves on the ground a bit faster than expected.  Not that anyone’s complaining.  The autumnal palette is moving from the trees to the forest floor, that’s all.

Actually, there is a change occurring in the leaves and it is a significant one.  First they lose their chlorophyll, then they lose their color.  And then, over time, they dry out, decay, and become part of the earth.  It is all very organic, and beautiful in ways that go beyond mere appearances.

After six hours of formatting, computer glitches and the usual Internet chicanery, I really don’t mind the damp chill that greets me at the trailhead.  Nor do the dark gray clouds intimidate.  I feel a great weight lifting from my chest as I tramp through the soggy leaves.  This is the real world, I tell myself, the one that is largely organic.  It is easy to forget that while staring at a computer screen.  All too easy.  So I walk as if every step is a prayer.  And it feels good in ways that go beyond mere feelings.

By all conventional measures, my life is a failure.  It makes no dollars and cents.  I’ve done nothing heroic, have made no great contributions to society, have created no great works of art, and haven’t done anything impressive.  I have little to show for the decades that I’ve been around.  I think, observe, and scribble down words.  That is all.  And yet somehow that strikes me as enough as I wander about the woods. In the organic world, where crows, chipmunks and all other creatures live, there is a great leveling effect.  Eventually, we all fall down and become part of the earth.  Sometimes I find that simple fact consoling.

The fallen leaves require no further explanation.  They just are.  And the great cycles of nature that they so clearly illustrate are lost only on those who never escape their abstractions.  As for the rest of us, well, we pay attention every once in a while to the earthy drama that’s constantly unfolding around us and marvel at it.

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