Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Of ends and beginnings

Where I live, many of the leaves have fallen off the trees and instead of clothing the trees, they now carpet the ground. So the greeting card I saw at Trader Joe's really speaks to me now: "The fall of a leaf is a whisper to the living. To make an end is to make a beginning."

We know that a leaf on the ground isn't the end of its usefulness. In fact, fallen leaves are nutrient-rich, soil-building treasures that contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients that trees extract from the soil in a growing season. Fallen leaves are a great source of nitrogen as they decompose. Interestingly, research conducted by Alexander Kowalewski at Michigan State University shows that maple and oak leaves used as mulch help control dandelions in Kentucky bluegrass! So what appears to be the leaf's end truly is also a beginning. Its usefulness continues but in a very different way.

So with us. When one chapter of our lives ends, something completely new is embedded within that ending. We don't always know what the next stage might be. Sometimes we may live in a transition time for a while—and, yes, I know all too well how uncomfortable that can be at times. But always, always, new challenges and directions emerge. We just need to trust the process, just as we trust the process of leaves falling to the ground and then adding nutrients to the soil.

What endings and beginnings have you experienced lately? Are you in a transition time right now? Let the falling leaf whisper to you!

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