At my grandmother’s funeral last month, the priest shared a story that has really stuck with me this Fall season. The story is The Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscalgia.
It’s a special metaphor about life and death that gave me some peace in the grieving process.
Basically Freddie and his friend Daniel are large and vibrant leaves on a tree who provide shade as part of their purpose. Freddie asks Daniel to explain a purpose.
"’A reason for being,’ Daniel had answered. ’To make things more pleasant for others is a reason for being. To make shade for old people who come to escape the heat of their homes is a reason for being. To provide a cool place for children to come and play. To fan with our leaves the picnickers who come to eat on checkered tablecloths. These are all the reasons for being.’"
They experience the different seasons and arrive in Autumn and the weather begins to change toward winter and the other leaves begin to fall. Daniel explains the process of death and how it was coming to them shortly but not to be afraid. Freddie has many questions, including, “‘Then what has been the reason for all of this? Why were we here at all if we only have to fall and die?’
“Daniel answered in his matter-of-fact way, ‘It's been about the sun and the moon. It's been about happy times together. It's been about the shade and the old people and the children. It's been about colors in Fall. It's been about seasons. Isn't that enough?’"
That afternoon Daniel let go and said his good-bye for now. When dusk arrived, Freddie began his journey through death. He landed on the ground and did not realize he would join with the water to make the tree stronger to be able to grow new leaves the following Spring.
That story can give us such hope through any loss we may be experiencing in life. We can learn from the trees. They stand tall even after losing a part of them every year. Grief can come in many different forms, not just in the loss of a loved one. It can be with any change such as a breakup, move or on any personal growth journey.
I think Fall is such a special season that truly teaches us the process of letting go and reflecting. It’s a time to get grounded and begin preparing for hibernation and relaxation through winter. It’s the season where we spend more time with our loved ones through holidays, football games and apple picking.
It’s also a perfect time to release what no longer serves us and doesn’t make us feel good such as certain clothing, people, expectations and limiting beliefs.
Are you ready to do some letting go this fall season?
If you want to get rid of material items that are cluttering your physical space, set up a yard sale or donate to a shelter.
If you want to lessen the negative talk in your head and lead a more positive life, set time aside to journal. Ask yourself what is holding you back in life. Are you surrounding yourself with negative people? Are you in a job that doesn’t give you purpose? Are you living in a place that feels depressing and lonely? Are you complaining about petty things every day instead of making changes?
Taking time out this season to contemplate out in nature and get more clear on your purpose, will help you to have a more optimistic Winter and more motivating Spring.
I know we are all doing the best we can with what we know. Today take time to notice the beautiful Fall leaves and what they are here to teach us. We will all die someday but if we live with a purpose like the trees, it will be a more meaningful life.
Until next time,
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf Story:
If you are looking for hope and purpose in your life through anxiety or stress, I'd love to chat. Visit my calendar to schedule a Heartache to Hope call. There are limited spaces available this Fall.