Sunday, November 14, 2010
Imprints on Concrete
There’s a phenomenon I notice each fall. Sometimes a leaf will make its imprint on the concrete. Concrete is a most impersonal surface. It is cold, hard, and once it has set, you cannot make a footprint in it. Yet somehow these fragile leaves manage to make an imprint, letting the world know they’ve been there long after they’re gone.
Autumn and the other three seasons are new to me. I grew up with Dry Season, Rainy Season and Petit Careme (a little dry spell during rainy season). In Trinidad and Tobago, if a tree’s leaves turn brown and fall off it’s because that tree is dead, and it’s not going to come back to life in a few months, or ever.
But here the trees go through this annual purging where all the impurities of the tree are stored in the leaves which then fall off, giving the tree a clean start. Yet it is the impurities that give the autumn leaves their bold vibrant colors. And it is the impurities that leave the imprint on the concrete.
We are like autumn leaves. Life isn’t perfect. It is the hardships, the impurities, that make us strong, bold, colorful. Without a struggle we cannot build strength. It is the impurities that give us what we need to make an imprint in the cold hard concrete. The imperfections in life and the imperfections in us give us the material we need to make our imprint in this cold hard world.
(Photo by Kelene Blake)