To catch a falling leaf.



It was a blessing to walk with Ben Dog under gently bronzing beech trees. I nearly lost him last month, so our time together today was as golden as the sunlight falling across my desk just now. With my resilient little steed bumbling along the woodland path by my side, I caught my first falling leaf of Autumn – an annual ritual going so far back, I can’t tell you who first extolled me of its virtues.

This year’s catch was a surprise (considering we were in a beechwood) ~ an English Oak leaf (Quercus robur), meaning ‘strength.’ I examined it, with all my senses, then with my eyes fixed on Ben, I made my usual wish and let it go. I walked home, against the wind, yet somehow felt at peace.

It’s been a while since I wrote anything here on this blog, my mind fixed to pre-set Masters questions. They have been challenging research subjects too, like euthanasia and abortion, sometimes very dark and always taxing. I was not asked the specific essay questions I’d have liked on each topic. Narrow questions are hard to answer when subjects are vast and chaotic. I guess this is the nature of post graduate study!

Twelve essays into my degree, and channels of understanding have opened that I have not fully considered before. I have uncovered surprising things about my own sense of right and wrong. I have caught the Autumn leaf, examined it, but now must let it go.

Next, I will turn into the headwinds of dissertation, a squall into which I must lean, as much as catch my breath. It will captivate me, I know it. A meditation. I tend to absorb myself in meaning, and have trouble remembering to eat. But like setting course into new adventures, I’ll feel joy in moving forwards, despite resistance (yes, there will be much resistance, and in many forms).

Life is never simple and, as Rilke has written, we may embrace difficulties because they are the normality of existence. Joy in life then, as if by magic, transforms into the exquisite, ecstasy set against a backdrop of the mundane.

Now to regain my own sense of purpose and direction in thought, to retain some colour and independence. This will be my next mind-adventure. There will be surprises, and on my way home, I hope to find peace. I wish!