Hidden among the leaves

May 5, 2016

inevitability

This is a piece about the inevitability of spring, of love and of life. It’s beautifully written and its message is something so relevant to what is going on all around us. It’s good to take a breath, look around, and appreciate the gift that we’ve been given. When Tony agreed to let me run this as a guest post, I was more than thrilled. I was honored. I know you’ll enjoy it.

Hidden Among the Leaves
by Tony Amore
theplaguedparent.com

The three of us sit at Easter brunch in a sun filled dining room overlooking the river and joke about skipping mass while waiting for French press coffee, juice and tea. We joke about pacing ourselves and getting our $40 (per person) worth. So much has changed over the past year and a half. Easter symbolizes a rebirth, renewal, and the resurrection of the paschal sacrifice. To see us from the inside out it’s hard for me not to occasionally view us as sacrificial lambs but that seems tinged in a self-deprecation which borders on self-pity.

From our table the derelict banks of the river’s opposite side are clear — an auto salvage yard, triple decker tenements painted improbable colors, a dead end street that terminates at the footing of an antique bridge long removed. Bare trees stand at the water’s edge beneath them the piles of dark leaves steep in the flow and lighter piles cover the detritus of the ascending hills. A few ducks glide close then break the surface of the muddy post-industrial river when they land, none of this seems noticeable to them.

This time of year, when wandering, I see only the moldy, damp leaves that remain from an autumn recently past. Decaying leftovers. These remnants plague my senses — the mold and fungus spark seasonal allergies replete with headaches, sore throat and the post nasal drip. But their decay is the life’s blood of lilacs and forsythia as well as the two thorny nameless shrubs near our deck.

Robins and chickadees, joined by the occasional warbler, rustle beneath the leaves seeking larval insects and ticks. These future pests become immediate treasures not unlike the remaining acorns the squirrels and chipmunks find hidden among the leaves. They root and claw the soil overturning, composting, sowing the thicket in the woods behind our house. A red fox walks the ancient farm walls formed of rocks and minor boulders. She hunts mice and unlucky squirrels who lack the agility to bound skywards climbing the budding oaks and maples.

Yes, the fall’s sacrifice resurrects the spring. This pattern existed before you, before me and certainly before Easter brunch. It will continue, unending long after the bill for said brunch has been paid off (at least one billing cycle). And it will continue despite our best efforts to disrupt it with pollution, climate change, deforestation, and real estate development.

Among the decay is the power of an energetic breathing engine which is flawless despite the appearance of chaotic sloppiness; we can neither start nor stop this engine from seamlessly running. This has meaning: every act of destruction is a man made thing; all nature does is create because it cannot destroy. There is no death, no dying, no brokenness. Every act of nature is preparation for that which will become, for that which has yet to transform itself.

Humankind however is born with limited eyes which fail to see beyond the edge of our noses, or the edge of a fouled riverbank. Emotions, fears, insecurities, our supposed intelligence, these things exist as limitations to our seeing and knowing the world around us. We get so caught up in the pain of loss, or the fear of losing, that we are blind to the ever-present gains our connections to this web of life offer us.

Spring awaits hidden among the leaves as does life and love. And when all the clutter is swept away during the inevitable spring cleaning, what was old becomes renewed, what once lay leafless will blossom and bloom in the warmth gained this time of year as we lean into the sun.

You’ll find some good writing over HERE, where Tony and his wife Christina write.  He’s a college professor –English, no surprise. She’s one, too, only she teaches Criminal Justice. As you can tell, they write about more than parenting. I subscribe to their site and you might consider that, too. 

30 comments on “Hidden among the leaves
  1. deanna says:

    That is very beautiful. I like the part that says “Spring awaits hidden among the leaves as does life” I think that is powerful and true!

  2. What a beautiful post, both the language and the thought. Thanks for sharing. I went over to see what your friends are doing!

    • Tony Amore says:

      I can’t thank Carol enough for allowing me the opportunity to share this with her readers. I am a big fan of her work and always look forward to when she drops by our site. I am so glad you enjoyed the post.

  3. Toni McCloe says:

    “There is no death, no dying, no brokenness. I needed those words. It seems I need to be reminded again and again. Thanks Carol and thanks to your friends, too.

    • Tony Amore says:

      I am not to proud to admit that the idea is a synthesis of the writings of David Whyte, John O’Donohue and Parker J. Palmer. They are my trinity at the moment. Their work inspires me to look more deeply outward as well as inward. Thank you for your kindness.

  4. Anna Palmer says:

    “This has meaning: every act of destruction is a man made thing; all nature does is create because it cannot destroy.” Even in breaking things down nature builds them back up…

  5. KatR says:

    As I have aged. I have definitely learned to slow down and take the time to really appreciate the gift of being given another day. I have also realized that I need to take the time and find the words to let people know how much they really mean to be. Even if my words come out awkwardly and I repeatedly stumble over them trying to make sense, the ones who I am speaking to understand the gist of my point and are grateful that I took the time to let them know!

  6. Beautifully written piece reminding us of the constant renewal life brings. Thank you for your beautiful word pictures. I felt like I was there as I read.

    • Tony Amore says:

      I appreciate the kind words Cathy. And, not to be redundant but I couldn’t be more grateful that Carol chose to share this work with all of you.

  7. sue says:

    Such a beautifully written and descriptive post, I felt I was there with you.I love Spring and the sense of excitement and new beginnings it brings. Humans do need to take the time to step back, breathe and appreciate all life has to offer.

    • Tony Amore says:

      Seeing the sublime beauty beneath the grime of human society is truly a challenge, but at certain occasions, and in certain places, it shines through and demands to be seen. Thank you Sue.

  8. alison says:

    Beautifully written post and so poignant. I loved the part “Emotions, fears, insecurities, our supposed intelligence, these things exist as limitations to our seeing and knowing the world around us.” It is so true that they limit our vision and who we could become.

  9. Andrea says:

    What a beautiful expression of the creation that can only be found in the One who created all things!

  10. Ruth Curran says:

    Beautiful post however this absolutely took my breath away: ” Emotions, fears, insecurities, our supposed intelligence, these things exist as limitations to our seeing and knowing the world around us. We get so caught up in the pain of loss, or the fear of losing, that we are blind to the ever-present gains our connections to this web of life offer us.” Insert standing ovation (and the wave) here!

  11. Tony Amore says:

    In an earlier reply I mentioned David Whyte. As a poet, he believes that encountering a piece of poetry should take your breath away, and poets struggle to leave their readers breathless. If that is so, and I think that it is, then you have paid me the highest of compliments. Thank you so very much.

  12. Tony is an incredible writer. So many lines to love, but this stands out for me: “Yes, the fall’s sacrifice resurrects the spring.”

    An inspirational look at renewal. Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Tony Amore says:

    Now I would like to leave a note for Carol. Your request to re-post this piece truly humbled me. My mentor once told me to always be grateful and gracious with any reader you are lucky enough to have. We have been blessed that people of such generosity as yourself have taken the time to frequent our site, read and comment. Thank you does not seem big enough to truly express my gratitude. But it is all I have so: Thank you Carol.

  14. Yes yes yes to what Ruth commented. This is beautifully written. Lyrical.

  15. Kkm says:

    What a beautiful post… truly enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

  16. liv says:

    I love this one too.

  17. What a beautiful piece! It’s funny how sometimes when we stand back we get little glimpses of the vast perpetuality of our world. Everything has a purpose, even in decay. I’ll try to look at the crumbling leaves packed up under my azaleas with a little more gratitude from now on.

  18. Carolann says:

    So very true…we are so wrapped up in fear and avoiding loss that we forget to see what’s in front of us. Love this piece..nice reading just before watching mindless TV!

  19. Mary says:

    Such a lovely post. I needed to read this today. Thank you.

  20. Andrea says:

    somebody’s gotta remind the weather bureau (at least where I live in NY), that it IS spring, period! 🙂

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