I'm a blazing orange leaf hanging on the evolving tree. Still bright, vibrant, alive and well, having no idea that the tree is getting ready to rid itself of me. I drifted down to the ground where I hit bottom. I was nothing without the tree, without Patrick. The days grew colder and I started drying out without my source of life. My color is waning and I am becoming dry around the edges, not so personable, not so willing to help. I finally lost my color and my body was dead. I was nothing but a warped image of what I once was. But the seasons were changing and so was my body, a new wonderment was about to befall me, winter, motherhood. One day mid autumn, the rain decided to come, so refreshing, more color in the trees, there was life, bright wonderful beautiful life, Daniel. The sun comes out that day and everything is fresh, I the leaf watch as the world around me bursts into color, I am happy for the other leaves, I am happy for my chance to see and experience more life. The day is growing to and end and the night sky is beautiful, deep blue stars shining bright. I, a dry leaf, lay loving the cool wet feeling of the rain, the warm life in my arms. The night grows chillingly cold and the wind is picking up. I'm plastered to the ground, my new center, my Daniel. The sky grows cloudy, the wind is inconsistent, my Daniel's breathing is inconsistent. I am clinging to the ground as the rain starts once more and I'm immovable. The rain pelts at my slick smooth surface telling me i must let go of the ground so the water can move freely, so God can run his course. The rain stopped and the wind picked up. The rain washed me, the leaf, away, I could no longer cling, my Daniel was gone. The sun came out the next morning. I was at the bottom of a pile of other leaves on the sides of the road. I saw no light, I had no hope, all I had left the ground, my baby, was gone. The wind started blowing, life kept going. The leaves that were burying me began to blow away and I dried out and saw the sun. I knew life was yet to be over but it was drawing over. My life was coming to an end. I started to dry out and my hard crunchy spiked edges clung to the curb. I was in between life as I knew it and life as it would be. I was blown this way and that with the crisp autumn wind, people came and went, I smiled, and sobbed, I dozed and I kept my eyes wide open. I landed in a lawn where children played, I know this is where life as I knew it would end and I must start again anew, the funeral, the cemetery. The funeral came to an end and the graveside ceremony would begin, the children begin to flood the playground for recess. I willed the wind to blow me away, I wasn't ready for my life to be done, I closed my eyes in the Cadillac on the way to the cemetery. I hated those harmful feet of the playful ignorant children, I hated the thought of my baby being laid to rest. The children came, the ceremony came. I requested to stay and watch him be lowered, the wind did not pick up. I hear the last thud of the lowering of the casket I hear a child's voice over top of me, and crunch, gasp of horror, my heart stops beating, my life as I knew it ended. The child stopped my life. I am clinging to the veins of my body as a leaf, I'm clinging to my friend for comfort. Every once in a while the wind pick up and I'm lifted out of my resting slumber, a knock on the door, a card, flowers, a message of love. I am dry, broke, nothing without my child without the ground or tree. I land every now and then hoping to find love and life, I do. I float to a garden a man is preparing for the winter mulching it, I land, I am able to help the gardener, I found a friend I can help. Although life as I know it has ended, I will become something new an better because I can help. I will never be what I was but I will be a new creation. I will be able to help and love others which in turn helps me. The winter will be hard and rough, I will persevere. I am strong I have made it this far but at any moment the wind could pick up and I could be gone.
I will cling to the old rugged cross, the tree the ground, but I will not yet exchange it for a crown. But I cling to the old rugged cross, my Patrick my Daniel. "To the old rugged cross will I ever be true; Its shame and reproach gladly bear; Then He'll call me someday to my home far away, Where His glory forever, I'll share."