Lessons from a Leaf // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

As I write this column, the leaves are dropping from the tree outside my window. Each dropping leaf has a hint of sadness in it.

Just a few short months ago, the leaf was an emerging bud, filled with promise and possibility. Then, through the summer months, it matured in full bloom — a lush green speaking of health, prosperity and vitality.

Then, came the fall, and the green leaf joined its friends in an orchestra of splendid beauty. The artistic mosaic of red, yellow and orange was breathtaking!

And now — the leaf has withered. It’s hanging onto the tree for dear life. One small puff of the north wind, and it will flutter to the ground onto the morbid pile of the other brown companions who lost their grip.

And life goes on.

The leaf reminds us that life has its seasons — and we must all go through them. It is important for us to accept that fact, rather than to struggle against it.

This brings me to four simple lessons from the leaf:

1. If it’s time to rest — then rest. During the winter season, it’s often hard to understand why nothing seems to be “happening.” We all have our winter experiences. These are the times when we are called to slow the pace down a bit and rest.

2. If it’s time to sprout — then sprout. When the winter snow melts away, spring is on the horizon! It’s time to sprout. Some people are so discouraged and consumed by life’s winters that they fail to respond in sprouting season. Keep your eyes open for new opportunities and a fresh wind. Don’t be caught sleeping when you need to be sprouting.

3. If it’s time to flourish — then flourish. Summer is full bloom time! It’s when you need to capture each moment and reap the harvest! Success is a blessing for those who understand the power of the seasons — and are willing to go the extra mile at harvest time. You don’t have to feel guilty about succeeding — just thankful. Don’t waste your summer days. Instead, roll up your sleeves and get to work! You will produce a tremendous harvest.

4. If it’s time to let go — then let go. Just as the leaves let go of the branch, there are seasons of “letting go” in our lives.

Letting go requires courage. Someone once defined courage as “letting go of the familiar.”

Letting go requires wisdom. We have to look beyond the present circumstance and see the long term result of this action.

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