The cycle of life continues as we enter October and get ready to welcome fall and say goodbye to summer. On my daily walks, I notice the falling leaves gracefully gliding down to earth for their resting place. I say a silent prayer of thanks for all the shade and joy they gave me all spring and summer. They beamed energy to us silently and those of us who like to forest bathe (as in the Japanese term of shinrin-yoku or forest bathing) were deliberately mindful of this eternal universal energy. It changes forms now from leaves to mulch to the next living being to arise in that spot. What a beautiful reminder the falling leaves give us!
There was a song in the 60’s “All the Leaves are Brown” although the Mamas and Papas were talking about a winter’s day. But fall reminds us that falling leaves are just the first sign of a big change and that change is the only constant in life. Everything is transient and will go through its cycle, long for some, short for others. What we can do is be silent witnesses and observers of this majestic design and surrender to its direction.
Just this weekend, two of my daughters with separate Florida plans had to cancel because of Hurricane Ian. It was disappointing, and yet, maybe the harbinger of things to come. In our climate dangerous world, we must be prepared to change plans at the last minute. There is a 50/50 chance that some climate event will happen and impact our plans. Just last month Pakistan, my birth country, became the first tragedy for the world to see of the climate crisis as Monsoon rains and Himalayan glacier melting combined to create the perfect storm: Over 1,606 people have lost lives, 12,863 have been injured and 33 million people are refugees; 13,074 km of road, 392 bridges and 18 dams, 1.2 million houses, over 1 million cattle and 5.4 million acres of crops have been destroyed.
It is a shame that the powerful leaders of the world cannot see beyond their noses. They fail to remember the lesson of the falling leaves. My prayer every time I walk is that my great grandchildren can see forests, lakes, rivers and all the beautiful creatures that reside there. It seems like a long shot but hopefully there will be a tipping point of awakening and our future generations will invent technologies to heal Mother Earth.