Yesterday I was visiting the New York Botanical Garden. It was cold. Or I should say, I was cold! I didn’t stay too long, only and hour or so. It was too difficult to walk with feet made out of popsicles. But while I was there in the gardens, with all of the trees and their autumn leaves, I was reminded. I was reminded of how perfect every stage of life is. Damage, transformation, death, birth, development, maintenance, decay — all perfect.
As I looked at the trees, I see their trunks, twisted, strong and weathered. Standing still, after years of adapting to whatever each moment brings. Many of the trees were labeled, several that I saw were over 275 years old. You can imagine all that they have seen. It’s over three human lifetimes. They live for change — because life is change. If we don’t embrace it, we aren’t alive. We aren’t fully living.
I had my camera with me. Below are several of the photos that I took of the ground. I focused in on a few decaying leaves out of millions. They are just like us. And they serve as a reminder. We too are single decaying (yet fully living) souls out of millions. Each one unique, each one valuable, each one beautiful in their own way, each one perfect. Remember that. Remember that life is not the opposite of death. Death is part of life. Nature teaches us this.
The composting leaves, the flowers in spring, the green leaves of summer, the bareness of winter — all of this is life. It’s a continuous cycle, an unbroken circle. It’s why each moment, each phase of life is precious. It is never to be repeated or duplicated. Every single moment, as well as every single living thing is one of a kind. Yet it’s all part of an immeasurable perfect ongoing mysterious awesome event, called life. We all get to be a part of it. Let’s give thanks!