Why is one leaf on this autumn path
golden, edged in burgundy
while another leaf is purple, veined in orange?
Why is one tree bursting crimson
and another speckled yellow?

I’m more like a dappled leaf,
flitting from place to place,
full of intermingled ideas.
Sometimes I long to be the fiery sugar maple
consistent and focused and intent toward one purpose.
Yet speckled oaks do not desire
to be a solid scarlet;
so why should I desire
to be a different me?

When my eyes linger on an individual leaf
I must resist the urge to slip it in my pocket
and take it home.
How could I select the one most stunning,
the one most lustrous
from all of this diversity?
That is not my purpose.
So I leave them all
grateful for their gift of beauty
just being as they are
on their path where they belong
in their woods in autumn.


Top image is a photo of me walking in the nature center near home.
Bottom image is a photo of the park in our neighborhood.

18 thoughts on “Purpose

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