Dance In The Leaves Along The Way

It is an old memory. It may even be a dream. The older I get the more the two seem to merge together at times. I was a little boy and I was falling backwards. I wasn’t afraid, however. In fact, I felt thrilled and safe at the same time. It was like I knew I couldn’t be hurt. Suddenly, my back made contact with something soft but crunchy as well. I was falling into a huge pile of freshly fallen leaves. They were dry and had the wonderful smell of Autumn about them. I fell further and further into the pile as the leaves flowed over my face and body. When I finally stopped all I could see was a few pinpoints of sunlight shining through my leafy covering. I smiled and started to half climb and half swim my way out of the pile. I could hear other kids around me yelling and laughing in the warm sunshine. They were dancing in the leaves, crunching them underfoot, and burying each other under them. When I finally got out of the pile I joined in. Then I looked up and saw the last butterfly of the season circling around looking for a daisy or dandelion to land on. It was a such a glorious day in Fall that I wished it would last forever.

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Of course that day didn’t last forever and as I grew up I became more afraid of falling and failing. I became afraid of this world with its anger, competition, and hatred. I became afraid of not having enough to care for myself and my family. I became afraid of not knowing what trouble or problem would come next. I let that fear separate me from God too. I was no longer the trusting and happy boy who had played in the leaves.

It took me many years to regain that child’s trust and wisdom and still be an adult. It came from learning time and again just how much God loves us here. It came from the realization that this life is only temporary and that the love, joy, and light that awaits us are eternal. It came from learning that the only thing that really matters in this life is the love and kindness that we share with each other.

I think that this Fall I may do a little playing in the leaves once again instead of just raking them up and throwing them away. This life, after all, is best lived in laughter, learning, love, and joy. This life is best lived with the trust and wisdom of a child. We are all God’s Children. We are all on a journey to Heaven. And there is no reason why we shouldn’t dance in the leaves along the way.