Saturday, November 2, 2013


Thank you for the Leaves


I had been in a funk for several days.  Both of my twin granddaughters were recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at two years old.  My wife was in London attending a meeting of world-wide paper-pushers, aspiring to become someone that I won't know or like; a bureaucrat.  My business performance had been not up to my liking, and my whole life seemed pretty much a waste of the potential I was given at birth.  I was entertaining thoughts of how best to exit this planet, and to leave behind all of its madness.

The constant barrage of bad news from the media; the pathetic excuses for leaders around the globe; the hopelessness of starving millions; the murder of other innocent millions; the Fukushima disaster and what comes next; the suffering of jobless Americans in the richest country in the world; the senseless murder of millions of animals gobbled up by voracious meat-eaters who never saw a vegetable that tasted as good as a cheeseburger.

The insane whine of the world seemed like a flashing hotel light that that wouldn't give me any rest.  Many methods of escape are possible, but few appeal to me.  Perhaps climbing a distant mountain and freezing at the top would be one nice exit.  I could lie there undisturbed, and look out at the physical beauty of this world, unperturbed by what was happening below.  That seemed better than just walking north until I froze, since I wouldn't want to be eaten by polar bears or wolves, before I died.

Better to leave on one's own terms, I thought, than to wait and suffer the indignities of a frail old age.  These were the thoughts that ruminated within my skull all week, growing like an approaching storm, that darkened my mind.  Then today, I walked outside in my backyard, and looked up at the skyline in front of my house.

The trees had turned bright with colors and were glowing brilliant in the morning sun.  One was luminescent yellow, and another deep gold.  Still another was lit with shades of orange and pink.  They were too beautiful to ignore.  Instantly, I was temporarily relieved of my departure plans.  This world is too beautiful to exit just yet.  My good feelings caused me new thoughts.  What was it about just seeing these colors that made me feel so good?  Why did I think it so beautiful?  Would someone else think the same?  

I remembered my ailing father in the time before his death, and he would have told me that the colors meant nothing at all to him.  But he was well ready to depart, his chosen tasks completed, and he was missing my mother, who had passed before him.  So the colors don't save everyone.  Nevertheless, they saved me from my week-long funk and blew wind back into my sails.

There's a lot I can still do to help out in this world.  I'm not ready to leave just yet.

No comments: