Ever notice the sometimes large degree of color variation among autumnal leaves clinging to a single tree?
Backyard silver maple. Green leaves, yellow leaves, brown leaves, and the occasional strikingly red, orange, gold leaf. All beautiful, some more so than others. Eye of the beholder, sure.
Reminds me of people, lives lived differently with differing perspectives, differing results.
The unavoidable notwithstanding, destinations are largely chosen. Not entirely. Certainly not upfront. Process guided by belief, optimism, love. Or by pessimism, bitterness, plain old apathy. Entire gamut in between.
Remarkably encouraging to happen upon - or be longtime witness to - a mindfully lived life, one tested and found attentive, eager, willing. A life uncommon. Noticed not because of its stash of material trinkets, not for status looming large over the impressionable, not for children begotten, place in line, nor ignorance, infamy, or obstinacy.
But rather a noble life lived in observation coupled with participation, expectant eyes trained on the unseen as well as the visible. A life appreciatively accepted, simultaneously offered, graced with peace, patience, self-restraint, understanding, honesty, and genuine kindness toward even the most undeserving.
From outside looking in it's been my impression that when the heart's posture is humility an existence well-spent in life's deeper delvings is a quiet, modest life especially as compared to noisy ambition, sputtering jealousy, and sniffing self-righteousness. Moreover, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the superior life vibrantly attracts attention and admiration, pitifully missed by those whose noses rub raw against the grindstone of obtusity.
Just as the few bright crimson leaves among a sea of pale green, yellow, and brown draw my eyes to their welcome specialness, so the quiet excellence of thoughtfully spent lives captures the attention of my inner being to possibility, even as my head bobs over the grindstone, my eyes alert yet often unfocused, my poor nose now healing now raw.
Spare me botany lessons.
Leave me simile.
Off I go to contemplate, for I am far from home.