Pandora's Box

Dance of Leaves

Brown and left for dead, these leaves on the pathway all around me are suddenly brought to life in a thrilling, exhilarating dance. They are lifted up – effortlessly, soundlessly – they twirl and spin, then drop to the ground, joining others in the dance. They skitter across the path, caring not who’s in the way or where they’re going – they just know that they must dance when bidden to. Not wallflowers, indeed, these leaves eagerly jump into the dance in a hasty tango – a crazy samba – a dizzying waltz – and I wonder – what are we doing in this dance of leaves?

Are we hurrying through life so quickly, with heads bent down, our eyes concentrated on the ground in front of us, not even noticing the spin and graceful curtsy of the leaves around us? Are we too focused on ourselves, poisoning our minds with too much thought and plan for the next thing on our list? Do we fail to see the beauty all around us because we’re too absorbed in the pavement hitting our shoes? Have you noticed – the last time you were out walking – how many people actually walk with their heads up, eyes taking in the scenery around them, ready to give you a smile and nod as you pass? Or were you also too busy in studying sidewalk cracks to realize that life looks so much brighter with your head tilted up into the sunshine [or the wind as the case may be!]?

What if we, like the leaves, dove straight into the wind with our arms wide open? What if we didn’t shy away from the dance because we were too afraid of where it would take us, but instead just let it lift us, carefree, away from our worries, and let ourselves be surprised with where it landed us? There is life in that spontaneous dance … life that lights up even the brownest and most brittle of hearts. A cheerful hello – a smile deep from within – a genuine compliment – an unexpected hug – a gift freely given – these are the things that make the dance crazy-beautiful and that engage us in the most basic of human connections. Why is it so hard to remember? Why must we make life so much more complicated than the leaves whisper to us? Why does accepting normal seem so much more appealing than daring to live a little bit and wear our dancing shoes now and again?

The leaves aren’t dancing every minute of every day … and neither should we. But when the leaves kick up their heels, it is a clear reminder to us that we also need to flow with the rhythm of life … accept it and live in the moment. Don’t let the dance of leaves pass over and around you without whispering thanks for it and the majestic hand of the Creator that guides their every movement. He longs to pull you into the dance as well.

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