Celebration of Life

Moving beyond my pain and celebrating life.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A leaf in the wind....

This is a lone leaf on a tree outside my condo. While observing this leaf, I was reminded of a life lesson I learned many years ago while living in a small community in western Wyoming in the mid 1980's.

From the late 70's through the 80's I was in a very unhappy abusive marriage and I thought I had no alternatives to my situation. My two children were still young, I was uneducated and had very low self-esteem. In the mid 80's we lived in an old country farm house which was drafty and cold. One of my few luxuries was a washing machine but since I didn't have a dryer I had to hang the clothes outside, even in the winter.

It was in one of those winters when I was hanging out clothes to dry in the sub-zero temperatures that I noticed one lone leaf on a limb near the clothes line. Everyday, I looked at that leaf to see if it had blown away and wondered why and how it hung on so long. Through the winter when the cold winds blew at night, I would wonder if my leaf would still be there the next day. To my surprise, every morning, it was still there. I thought that if that leaf could hang on through terrible storms, then I could hang on and never give up hope that one day something better would happen with me.

Then one spring morning while hanging out clothes, I noticed that the leaf was gone; my leaf of hope was gone! I was sad unti I noticed that in its place was a sprout of a new leaf. That new life got me to thinking about my own.

As long as we hang onto the old, new growth cannot sprout. I had to learn to let go of the old feelings and attitudes, I had to let go in order to grow and become a better person, a better mother and provider for myself and children so that I did not have to depend on anyone for my survival.

It took me several years after this lesson in order for me to gain enough strength to leave but I did! Many leaves have blown through my life since then, but I will never forget my leaf of hope.



  • At November 3, 2007 at 9:06 PM , Blogger Ms. Creek said...

    great story...i like your insight and writing!

  • At November 3, 2007 at 9:56 PM , Blogger A.Bananna said...

    that is what I was going to say Ms. creek. lol.

    I love your writings and how you tie them into nature! :) love yah!

  • At November 4, 2007 at 5:21 PM , Blogger Lynetta said...

    Beautiful story! And you passed that lesson on, not only to your daughter, but to your niece as well. (And to others, I'm sure). Thanks for teaching me to flush :-)

  • At November 5, 2007 at 8:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    We can learn a lot by observing nature.

  • At November 5, 2007 at 9:02 PM , Blogger San said...

    Jolene, your view of the mountains through your current window must inspire you. Loved your story of the lonely leaf hanging on, then finally letting go.

  • At November 6, 2007 at 12:58 PM , Blogger velvetginger said...

    Jo I love that...remember...nature us round...leaves are round...the earth...rocks...native americans built thier homes (hogans, teepees, huts, etc) round because nautre is round. A teacher that comes into our shop told me the other day that Leaves are round (look at them all, consider the edges)because they have to brave the weather(wind, rain, etc) if they were Sharp/Harsh like some of us humans...they wouldn't survive.
    you are round & your leaf is round...your story inspired me to share.


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