A friend recently told me she was sitting on her deck, doing nothing but listening to the leaves fall. At first, I thought she was offering a metaphor like “wake up and smell the coffee,” but she actually meant it literally. I was moved by the idea. Imagine finding time to sit so quietly that you could hear leaves fall! And so, since then, I’ve often thought about making the time to do just that.
Today, the day after Thanksgiving, I finally had my chance. It’s forty-two degrees (about five celsius), but I’m on the deck chaise, warm and cozy with a fleece blanket and outdoor heater. The leaves are, in fact, falling. I am watching them. They are dancing as the cool wind blows…a freestyle that remarkably is in tune with the zen-like music being piped outside. They are colorful, one more beautiful than the next…boasting shades of mossy green, pumpkin orange, mustard yellow, antique gold, brown and rust that would challenge any mortal artist. They are loud and crunchy, as proven by the neighborly squirrels who bump and rustle them as they jump from tree to tree. It’s amazing how much there is to see and hear, when you make the time to look and listen.
It’s been an extremely busy couple of weeks. So much so, I haven’t had the time to process, reflect, write or breathe. For the holiday, my adult children came home (the first time in a long time they’ve been here all together) and have drawn my attention from demanding “office” work to “domestic” work. I’ve done more cooking, cleaning, laundry and washing dishes than I have in a year. But I’m not complaining one bit. It’s a pleasure to have them here…to eat, laugh, talk, hang out and enjoy each other’s company. I truly feel grateful. And next year, God willing, we’ll be joined by a nine-month-old boy who’ll make the holiday so much sweeter!
In a couple of days, the kids will go back to their lives and on Monday I’ll return to work with renewed energy and focus. But, at this moment, in this serene place of beauty and peace, I truly am thankful for the blessings in my life and the ability to make the time to listen to the falling leaves.
Happy Thanksgiving and Shabbat Shalom.