One Brown Leaf?

November 23, 2009

A spindly tree outside my window; all bare branches exposed. Shivering limbs against the cold and one…brown…leaf. Not even a nice leaf, but one left over from the Summer. One little reminder.

Who are you?

A leaf clinging to an idea?

Or, are you a rumour of what was and what will be again: a promise.

What will I do if I see the wind get the better of you?

November 24, 2009

Brown leaf, you are still on the tree.

I am also still here.

November 26, 2009

And the leaf hangs on.

It makes me feel happy to see you, leaf. Look at you: all crispy brown, not another leaf to keep you company.

You know for sure, you have to go sometime, but there you still are: clinging.

I heard a term today: faint hope. It has to do with prisoners being offered some mercy; perhaps one more chance at freedom.

Leaf, you remind me of faint hope. All the other leaves on the ground are yelling: “It’s over! Just let go! Let go!”

Job asked, “Will you torment a wind blown leaf?”

But there you are, leaf, keeping your view for a little while longer.


Be stubborn.

November 27, 2009

Little brown leaf, you are getting rattled around. Birds are hopping on your branch on their way to food. Can you survive it? Magpies and Bluejays, making a racket.

You look fragile. Trembling.

I am cheering for you; you don’t look like you have it in you, but you have tenacity and I admire that.

December 3, 2009

Leaf still intact.

December 4, 2009

Leaf hasn’t gone anywhere.

December 7, 2009

Leaf! We have had wind, rain, snow and when I am away I wonder if you will still be there when I get back.

I do, I really think about you.

How do you pass the time? No camaraderie. No community. No swapping stories.

Day by day goes by; same number of hours but a lot less fun then when the branches were full.

What is keeping you there?

Do you want to prove something — a tree ought to have leaves, even if they are brown?

Or do you just want to defy nature, defy decay?

But you look old and you know, come Spring, younger leaves will sprout in and around you. They will be surprised if you are still here.

Will you be a warning, or will you be inspiring?

Hang on leaf — I am watching you.

December 21, 2009

Brown Leaf, you are still here but more tattered than ever. Your edges are worn away, or torn away, not sure which.

Actually, I see one of your pieces hanging by a thread off to the side; I guess you can see a bit of yourself there.

Winter has only begun and it is a long season. Hunker down, Brown Leaf.

January 5, 2010

The tree outside my window is beautiful; heavy with snow.

And — the Brown Leaf hangs on.

Honestly, that leaf has staying power. I can almost imagine its little stem, like two little fists, clutching the branch with all its might. All the odds are against it, but it defiantly remains.

Every day I look out there, fully expecting it will be gone: wind, rain, snow, ice and it looks back at me and says, “see.”

SEE…I don’t even know why that leaf is speaking to me, but it is.

What is the difference between contentment and loneliness? Is the leaf feeling peace — just the leaf and its Maker? Or does it feel abandoned? Does it feel stuck? Does it feel that remaining is its only option?

Or maybe it still senses a purpose for being there. Though none stay with me…

Maybe the leaf is a bit of a lighthouse, an emblem of hope to others who are weary; those still standing, standing for something.

Anyway, Lord, when that leaf goes, I think I am going to feel sad.

January 15, 2010

It has been so windy and rainy, but Leaf, you are triumphant. Leaf, you are just so resilient and so full of attitude.

You are crunchy and nothing to look at…but there is life in you still.

Long live the leaf!!

January 18, 2010

Good morning, leaf. I noticed you are still there.

Sometimes it is enough to be noticed.

February 10, 2010

Leaf, have you heard this quote by Macbeth?

“Life is but a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.”

I think you know this about life. I think when you know this, you are more awake.

February 18, 2010

Brown Leaf, I re-wrote Psalm 3 for you:

“I lay down and slept

I woke up in safety

For the Lord was

Watching over me.”

Storms could be raging,

Everyone pecking at you.

Anger seething beneath you.

But you close your eyes

And in the dim evening shadows

Make your bed

And lay your head upon your pillow:

A smile, gentle on your lips,

A sigh.

You lie down and sleep

And in 8 hours wake up

And marvel at God’s goodness.

You are safe.

The Lord Himself

Prays over you

And whispers assurances.

He paces for you.

He loves you.

His blessings

Rest on you.”

March 25, 2010

So relieved to see you are still here, Brown Leaf.

You have made it through the worst of the winter.

Now it will be mild, and then summer will be here.

Pretty soon little buds will appear; the natural rhythm of things. Will you still be here then?

When the buds open, will they look at you and say, “What? You’re still here?”

I certainly never expected you to still be here. I thought a gust of wind would eventually overpower you and I would look out and the branch would be bare.

But no; that didn’t happen. You defied the odds.

There will be an end to this, and what will the point have been?

What will we conclude?

It is too early to say. Is it for me to say?

I am looking at you though — outside my window on that spindly tree and I know you matter.

March 26, 2010

Dear Brown Leaf: I am thinking about the end. It is good to think about the end and not pretend about it.

April 2, 2010 – Good Friday

Brown Leaf, do you think that the one who watches you will allow you to despair?

Will you simply fall one day when you are tired, when you are done, and that will be that? The wind will blow you away and the watcher will say, “Oh, the leaf is gone. I guess that is that.”

The One who grew you is tender towards you.

You are noticed.

You are thought of even now.

You have brought pleasure to others.

The way you have hung on is not without a point.

Maybe, now that you are brittle and brown, you ask, “What has this been about? All this hanging on?”

You have lived through the seasons and it has not been in vain.

You may not understand it all, and I am not sure it can be explained just yet, but you will not simply vanish.

You won’t simply tire out in the end.

Goodness and mercy is resting on the same branch.

April 4, 2010

Little Brown Leaf, in the early hours it was decided, and I am relieved to know it: job well done!

This isn’t your assignment anymore; you have been transplanted.

The Word came, and I could hardly imagine it! You are among the trees on either side of a river, each leaf with healing coursing through its veins. Your veins. Once you were an amber outline, brittle and brown but now, faithful one, you are grand and green and forever.

You are a story among the stories which share in common the best line:

“…Behold, all things are new.”

I will tell those who haven’t heard.

— Teresa Klassen



6 responses

9 08 2010
The Land Between « OneBrownLeaf

[…] One Brown Leaf? […]

23 09 2010

Hi, nice to meet you !

29 07 2015

i really enjoyed reading this 🙂 in a dull, hungover day at work, this was a real joy. Thank you.

29 07 2015

Thanks for telling me. I hope tomorrow is less dull and hungover for you. Sometimes just a little better is actually a lot better.

18 11 2017
Gary Boyco

That was one of the best tings I have read in quite some time. I will also tell those who haven’t heard.

18 11 2017
Gary Boyco

That was one of the best things I have read in quite some time. I will also tell those who haven’t heard.

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