I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because
it was autumn and the other leaves were falling....
The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and
summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to
help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in
the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also
the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I
will continue to nourish the tree. So I don’t worry
at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground,
I will wave to the tree and tell her,
‘I will see you again very soon.’
That day there was a wind blowing and after a while,
I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the
soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself
already there in the tree. It was so happy.
I bowed my head, knowing that I have a lot to learn
from the leaf.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Illustration by Himitsuhana.