Husk that I am, I am blown by every passing wind daring not to dream that I may some day find ground and rest again upon an earth so seemingly determined to cast me off. I float over this life, wishing to catch a branch, but the branch from which I sprouted cut me off at the first sign of autumn. I am golden now, my green youth gone and my leafy spine shows through my color like a promise of the end of a life that seems only to have just begun. I have no seed to cary, no future to look forward too, no loved ones to grasp onto, and so I drift up higher and higher into this windstorm seeing the earth, home, nurturing mother, laid out below me like a mountainous distance that I may never fall toward.
“Yet there is a future,” the wind wipers as it casts me out to sea, over frothing waves and tempests so violent that I am torn. “There is a future,” the wind confirms as continents pass in a blur of noise and I am still alone, a leaf on a breeze, wishing to touch ground. If I have a purpose will it be as mulch to other fertile things? Will I feed the roots of young shoots and fade into soil.
“Yes, says the wind, and you will know what it is to grow new life, to be the mother of new things, to feed a world that you are at once apart from and at the same time a part of.” Storm upon storm has been my life but the sun has come and a soft breeze picks me up and lays me down upon the earth I was born from but have never touched.
“There little leaf,” the breeze whispers, “you are home.” The snows come, my color fades, and I am a leaf skeleton in the shade of a tree, my color and pattern fallen from my form to mulch the land and make it rich again. The tree shakes and seeds fall to be covered by my manyfold brothers and sisters who will warm them, feed, them and pass into the soil what gifts they have to give in order to birth these new beings. I am home now, a memory in the soil of oceans and mountains, of winds storms and loneliness, I am home and a part of something bigger than ever I was. I am become the earth made richer by my presence. I am returned to the oneness that bore me. I am home.