To Be Like a Leaf

Fall colors along a trail in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City, North Carolina

One of my favorite things is to sit by a mountain stream, especially in the fall, and watch the leaves falling from the trees overhead then being swept downstream by the current.  Some leaves travel straight down the middle of the steam, tossed gently by the movement of the water.  Many more leaves get caught up in the pools and eddies on the side of the streams, staying there until the current changes then moves them along to the next obstacle.  Occasionally the leaves are swept over rocks and sometimes even swamped by a cascade.  The courses of these leaves are a metaphor for our own lives and represent how little control we have over whether we stick to the center of the stream or get caught up along the sides.  Mostly, I think they reflect how pointless it is to stress and obsess over things that we can’t do anything about and remind us to go with the flow.  One of the many reasons I love to spend time in nature.

Fall colors along a trail in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City, North Carolina
Fall colors along a trail in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City, North Carolina
Fall colors along a trail in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City, North Carolina
Juneywhank Falls in the Deep Creek area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City, North Carolina

10 thoughts on “To Be Like a Leaf”

  1. Love your work Tom. Leaves in the wilderness reminds me of Andy Goldsworthy; if you haven’t seen his artwork, you should check it out.

  2. I like the metaphor. To expand on it further, amazing how some leaves get wet and just seem to stay in place no matter what’s flowing over them! 🙂 Call them the stubborn ones!

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