Four months ago, this leaf didn’t exist. The tree in my back yard on which it grows looked dead. There were no signs of life there. But this evening, it’s vibrant and lush — green and beautiful and full of life.
For many generations, human beings were directly connected to the cycles of nature. Their lives changed depending on the season. Their understanding of the seasons was crucial to their survival. They learned to plant in the spring, work fields in the summer, to harvest in the fall, and to protect themselves in the winter.
Modern humans are shielded from the cycles of nature. We have temperature-controlled homes and offices. We have pretty much the same food year-round, even if we don’t quite understand how that happens. My life in the summer isn’t much different from my life in the winter. Yours probably isn’t much different, either.
Reconnecting with the cycles of nature — and understanding what they teach me about myself and about this life — has been one of the most important parts of the last decade or so for me. And watching this leaf and all the other growing greenery in my back yard has me thinking this evening about that lesson once more.