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The Leaves’ Afternoon Performance

Posted in: Blog by admin on October 20, 2010

Wednesdays are my busiest afternoons. With carpools and Hebrew and soccer practice and homework (and some quick dinner that I throw on the table, which reminds me that I need to be more competent and prepared with feeding my little ones), I often just run and do and drive and work until they’re all down for the night. But, today, I hit the pause button, unintentionally.  I think it was the falling leaves that made me do it.

I dropped off at Hebrew and was about to take the few kid-free minutes I had and use them wisely (a.k.a. a quick run to the grocery store), but it was 72 degrees outside, and the sun was shining.  The crispness and the cleanness in the air enveloped me, and I released my tension as I fell into the air’s omnipotent arms. With my windows down and Silversun Pickups playing on the radio, I smiled and breathed (and, of course, sang along). Two minutes later I was parked on Forestway, out of my car and standing at the edge of the Skokie Lagoons.  Breathtaking.  Peaceful.  Blocks from my home.  I stood there allowing the quiet to drown out all of the day’s sounds.

It felt odd at first.  To be standing alone … amidst such beauty and quiet … my phone in the car (gasp!) … no jarring sounds — just the sounds of cars whizzing by, along with the occasional jogger or biker.  It was peaceful.  It was simple.  It was a world away from the day’s chaos and the night’s practices and homework.  Yet, I was just a minute from the kids’ schools, my home and the awaiting grocery store.

It felt so good to breathe.  To simply slow down.  To welcome a change in the routine.  To take a minute to pull off of life’s road — literally.

I thought about so many things, and yet I also emptied my mind of much of its load.  I watched the thoughts flow into the moving water as I decided to just be.  Free.  For this moment.

There is so much we always can be doing, so much we feel we should be doing.  And, we get called on it, too.  Our friends or parents ask us what we did today.  We may feel a rush to come up with the day’s accomplishments, to show the list with all of its checkmarks.  But, what if we just stood by the water, and that was the day’s most beautiful moment?  Would that be enough?  It certainly was for me.  But, can we accept that?  Is that a day with purpose?

I am continually searching for that passion — that purpose.  I want to give to the world, to spill good energy over any who are open to receive it.  But, I also want to simply smile and laugh and be free.  I want to stand and watch the water roll in and roll out.  And then watch it roll in again.  I wish I could have watched its movement for hours.  But three children were going to need me very soon, and my peaceful energy alone would not suffice.  There was much to get done, and so I slowly returned to my car.

It looked so foreign, that heap of metal.  I was so lost in nature for the few moments that it was uncomfortable climbing back into the car and reentering the world of technology, responsibility and duty.  But, the transition soon became seamless as the music played again, the windows were opened and the leaves continued to fall around me.

So many of the trees are already without their leaves, as they dance around nearby, reminding us all of life’s movement.  The cycle.  The absence.  The return.  The beauty.  The longing.  The change.  The abundance.  The bareness.  It was all before me, behind me and around me.  The contrast and the balance.  Nature does it so beautifully, and I am attempting to do so, as well.  To find that balance.  To be free and responsible.  To be passionate and dutiful.  To be alive and to be alive.  To dance around and around and around … sometimes, without a sound.

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2 Responses to “The Leaves’ Afternoon Performance”

  1. Sue love says:

    Love it! Makes us realize that we do need to slow down breathe and enjoy life! My hope for you my friend is that you will always sing to the music and dance with the leaves!!


  2. stan says:

    this entry definitely echoes taoism more than ayn rand 😉

    you might enjoy some stories here (try ‘cooking oil’):

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