There is much more than those leaves that are falling.
Here’s a story from Bo Sanchez he shared in today’s Feast at the PICC, the last feast for the year 2011.
There was once a tree on top of a hill. A handsome tree. An awesome looking tree. But he is alone. No other trees around him. He was alone on top of that hill – standing in grandeur.
(By the way, I am writing this from memory, not from a video or audio. Some words and the style maybe mine but Bro. Bo is the one who made up this story. And I would say, I’m a big fan of him so my style may much be influenced by his. I hope I’ll drive home his points.)
One day, he noticed that one of his leaves are turning brown. He felt sad. That one leaf continued to turn brown and one day, it fell down. The tree mourned. “Oh, I’m dying. Look at that leaf falling.”
Days gone by and another leaf turned brown. Later on, it fell. The tree mourned. “Oh, I’m dying. Look at those leaves falling.”
More days gone by and some more leaves turned brown. Later on, they fell. The tree mourned. “Oh, I’m dying. look at those leaves falling. I’m dying.”
Suddenly, a bird perched on one of its branches. The bird sang to the tree. The tree smiled but then the bird looked at the tree and noticed a bit of sadness in the face of the tree. The bird asked, “Why are you lonely, lovely tree?”
“Oh, bird. I’m dying. Look at those leaves. They have fallen and more and more are falling. I’m dying.”
The bird laughed. “What?!”
“Have you seen any other tree?”
The tree answered, “No.”
“That’s why,” the bird remarked.
“You know, what you are experiencing right now has been and is being experienced by every tree in the whole wide world. You are not dying.”
“Really?” the tree exclaimed.
“Oh, yes. Absolutely.”
“I have three messages for you:
“First, look at those leaves that have fallen. Count them. How many?”
The tree answered, “94.”
“Now, look at the leaves that are on your branches. Count them. How many?”
And the tree tried to count. He swayed his head from left to right, left to right, trying to count all the leaves on his branches.
“There a lot of them. I can’t count them. There are a lot of them!” the tree shouted.
Suddenly, a smile was painted on his face again. He got the message. Some leaves may have fallen but those that are still on the branches are so much bountiful – and still green and fresh. The tree is much alive!
Look at what’s there not at what’s missing.
“Second message,” the bird continued.
“Now, look at the parts of branches from where the leaves have fallen.”
The tree looked at them. He was saddened again, “Oh, they are empty.”
“Look carefully,” the bird demanded.
With wrinkled face, the tree uttered, “Oh, they are empty.”
“Look carefully,” the bird ordered.
“Ok!” And the tree look carefully at those spaces and he saw some small, tiny, little leaves sprouting.
He smiled again. He got the message.
Some things fall down to give way to new fresh leaves. You lose some things in life to give way to some things more wonderful and much better – a job, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a pair of slippers, laptop, or tab.
“Third message,” declared the bird.
“Now, look at the leaves that have fallen from your branches.”
“They are down on the ground and they are rotting. Oh, poor leaves. They are rotting.”
“Those rotting leaves will fertilize the soul. They will nourish the ground to feed you through your roots for you to grow more leaves and stronger branches.”
And the tree smiled at the bird once again. That smile which was lost for a while was painted back on its face.
He got the message. Things fall. Trials come. Challenges arrive. But we are not dying. Some parts of us or some things we have need to rot to give us fertilizers that nourish us, that feed us, that propel us to hang on, and to live on.
Do you see yourself in the tree’s place?
Please listen to the bird’s message.
There is much more than those leaves falling.
Live your life, Young Mind!