Joyful Sadness

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When you sense that something is changing or going away, but you are still able to feel joy and gratitude for what remains.

Lescure’s fall foliage is more beautiful than ever. Misty mornings lift into big blue skies and bring us sunshine and uncommonly warm temperatures. This is the season where we tackle a measureless list of maintenance chores to get the grounds ready for winter. So, we spend most of our time outside, soaking up the colours and warmth before the dark months. Yet, something simmers underneath the surface, a quiet discontent. Grief, I suspect. For the imminent loss of trees because of the drought. For well-defined seasons, I thought would stay with us forever. For the ignorance and fragility of humanity. For wisdom lost.


Like tiny whirling dervishes, yellow leaves lead me in a dance to the maple tree behind the house. This tree has really woven a spell on us this year. Its muted ochre palette beneath our bedroom window catches my eye in the hazy mornings and has me gasping at its gilded glory against the fire-skies at the end of each day. As it prepares for winter, the tree has created something magical out of decay. Its scattered leaves have drawn a boundless yellow circle around the trunk, the exact mirror image of its treetop.


Standing underneath the canopy of leaves is like standing in a temple with gently moving, translucent walls of gold. I feel myself becoming gentler, my inner voices become softer too as they stop worrying and instead start whispering of eternal joy and beauty. Alone under this great tree I am not alone at all, and it is easy to imagine my human experience reweaving with the tree’s deep roots.

Back to our chores I go, to take care of the land. With a fresh smile on my face,  a deeper sense of self revealed, in the comforting knowledge that humanity too belongs to this amazing embroidery of life: trees and birds, rivers and mountains, clouds and stars.

Artwork by Nannet van der Kleijn - 2002.

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