Leave. It comes with connotations of goodbyes, yet it need not. This verb can also mean “to put forth leaves.”
On the sidewalks I notice that Bartlett Pear leaves begin to pile in thick crimson piles, and on the crepe myrtle branches leaves are at once less frequent and more colorful.
Gerard Manley Hopkins describes this activity of the fall as “unleaving,” and speaks of the grief attendant on it: not grief for fallen leaves, but grief for fallen humanity. Grief that, though we walk amidst earthly glory, we know, inexorably, we’re going away.
How do we live in this balance: working and working to put forth leaves, though all the while knowing they’ll fall again? (How to leave when you know you’re bound to leave?)
We have promises: these days of goodbyes are themselves going away, with each evening the number dwindles as they fall and mound — crimson and gold on the ground of eternity.
For us who cling to Christ, the going away, ultimately, is an advantage — Paul desired to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better: we’re destined to say goodbye to goodbyes, to witness the death of death itself.
And when we cling to Christ, delight in Christ? He promises that we shall put forth leaves which shall not wither: He, not we, will see to their growth and their prospering. And He will never leave us.
Today I wrote more than five minutes on Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday prompt as I finished my thirty-one days of Noticing. Click the Five Minute Friday button directly above to read more about that, click the “31 Days Noticing” button higher up to read more about that.
©2014 by Stacy Nott