Winter days are nearly over but what a relief they provided after our sweltering summer. Even in the warmer latitudes of Brisbane some of our trees are still showing beautiful autumnal shades of red, gold, and russet. When falling leaves cover the ground, simply picking up a leaf and enjoying it for its beauty can be inspiring. Its unique shape, variegated colours, delicate veins, and the stem that once anchored it to the tree, all reveal the individual leaf to be an object, complete in itself.

When we look at the tree it fell from we are amazed to note that it too is one small part of a vast and intricate living system. A leaf transforms elements from its particular environment: sunlight, soil, carbon dioxide and rain, into nourishment for the entire tree. This exquisite and nearly weightless fallen leaf is a vital conduit to its branch, then to the trunk and then to the root system deep below. All living things inhale the oxygen produced by the tree’s respiration. They in turn breathe out carbon dioxide, nourishing and sustaining the tree. It’s impossible to know where one cycle begins and another ends.

Perhaps you are planning to buy a timber table or chairs for your outdoor entertaining area. At one time the wood for it was part of a forest. Someone was paid to cut and trim the tree into usable lumber, another to transport it to the workshop where a craftsman could design and build the table. Finally you purchased it from someone’s shop to enjoy in your home, or entertainment area, for gatherings of family and friends.

One of nature’s most beautiful gifts to us is this demonstration of the interdependence of all living things. Sun, rain, soil, oxygen, carbon dioxide, plants, animals, and humanity would not survive if each was not a vital part of this cycle. Nothing can thrive or exist on its own. Our entire interconnected planet is a huge web of living things engaged in a spinning dance of relationships.  By remaining aware of our rich connection to all things, and understanding our power to affect the balance in our world, we take the first step toward deeper and more conscious living.    

Mary Mageau © 2019

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