As I meditate…

A dry autumn leaf floats and tumbles free along the wood boards

…until the breeze carries it to perch vertically against the strap of my empty sandal

like a gymnast pivots at the bar. 

It balances there, bisected, teetering, until the breeze dies

 and it drops to the floor of the shoe,

resting lightly on my sole,

less lightly on my soul.

How like Life…

We float along a while, free as a leaf on the winds of our fate,

thinking this must be our path, our trajectory, our purpose—

to float free, to travel this direction, at just this velocity.

…Until we meet an obstacle, and a mind might decide,

“Ah, my road thus far has lead me here, to my true purpose, to balance here, skillfully.”

…Until the wind dies, and the leaf falls.

If one’s triumph was balance, falling looks like failure.

And the mind might say, “What a poor lot, poor leaf, with no mission, no agency; dependent on the whims of the air to move it through the world.”

…Until the next breeze sweeps the leaf along the tunnel between straps and sole,

toward the open toe, and the promise of freedom.

And the mind might conclude, “Ah! I see, of course. The goal was to move forward all along. The strap was an obstacle. The leaf could only proceed by falling.”

…And now it waits, rocking on the idling engine of the wind,

filling the space of an empty sandal with a blush of color,

simply being itself, fully,

…and the object of a meditation.

… Thus does it move the world through the butterfly wings of one mind’s thoughts… about autumn

…and a thousand other mysteries.


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