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Soft and supple, the sweet scent of summer, the lingering taste of spring. I sit up to see where the stars have been replaced by vast extensions of light.

Fingers unfurl from fists, fears tucked away in the daylight slipping out in the night until I pull the sheet close around me, moving old dog a few inches. He doesn’t stir. I sleep.

One footstep forward followed by another, I shuffle down the hall, shifting my eyes from floor to door, realizing fears, both frivolous and fruitless, steal, if not glee, well, calm. Focusing on fear is a form of control.

I watch a single leaf float past the window as I sit at my desk knowing it will land gently, weightless. The time had come to let go of the branch. Nature understands this.

I want to land gently like a leaf, eyes skyward, unrooted from the things of earth.

Old oak put up quite a struggle, its roots, clinging, embedded, defending. What force of wind took it down, and why? Roots unmoved but trunk bust open, revealing layers upon layers of its life swirling within, year after year, after year.

Sometimes we have to stop fighting. Lymphocytes running wild deep within the skin of my own trunk and limbs, trying to repair something that’s not broken. My skin, I say to the doctor, like a shield, is fighting to protect my heart? Too much hurt? It makes sense to me.

Am I fighting the wind? Fearing the fall? Clinging to the earth with years of thoughts running wild and free, unfounded fear, ungrounded, while Love stood near, listening and watching, unwearied.

I am not like the leaf. My roots spread wide, demanding territory as far and deep as a shimmering sea. I look into the faces staring back at me from photographs now faded, and cracked. These images on paper I cling to like the tree’s roots to earth.

The toughest test, I wonder, is to depend on what’s not seen, on God alone, to become like a leaf, faithful and weightless, landing gently, eyes skyward, unrooted?

Photo credit: Drew Colins

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