The dream of the leaves

The dream of the leaves

Once, a long long time ago, when Earth was still young, there were oceans and lakes and rivers, land with grass and flowers and trees, but there were no creatures of air and only a few animals roaming the forests.

Every year, when the days got shorter, the leaves on the trees changed their colour and sailed with the wind down to the ground, and every year, when the days got longer, the trees gave birth to new leaves.

They were a chatty folk, the leaves, chatting about the view, the weather and rumours the bugs carried up the stem of their Mother, the tree. One rumour in particular had their interest: Their loving, nourishing mother, said the rumour, shall withhold the nourishing juices from her roots when the days grew shorter, as to starve them.

"She can't do that," said some. "She gave birth to us, it is her duty to feed us!"

"Well," said others, "with some of us it would do no harm to lose them, they are quite ugly with their bugbites."

"I am sure it is only a rumour," insisted others. "Never ever has a leaf reported that this thing has really happened, days growing shorter! Phh, all our experience proves that days grow longer, that is the law of growth!"

Among the leaves was one – it was neither especially beautiful nor ugly, just one among many – that thought about the words for a long time. It tried to imagine what it would be like to fall to the ground into the shadow underneath their Mother. The Leaf had its place high up in the tree where it enjoyed a beautiful view. It loved to look over the landscape, the soft hills, the blue ribbon of a river. What a pity not to be able to see this anymore once one lay at Mother's feet … And the Leaf loved the Wind, be he soft or stormy, from the South or the North, because Wind always brought wonderful stories with him. About valleys and mountains, of sandy deserts and the blue sea. Leaf loved Wind's tender kisses, it turned and danced when it was hugged by Wind.

In the course of time a longing grew in Leaf. Oh, how wonderful it must be to travel with his friend Wind! To see all the things he talked about! To fly through the air instead of being stuck to Mother.

"Wind," Leaf said one day, "when the days really grow shorter and we sink to the ground in your tender breeze, can't I journey with you then?"

Wind laughed, a friendly, slightly pitying laugh. "Oh, Leaf, once you are ready to let me carry you to the ground, you will be nothing more than a dead husk, you won't see anything."

This made Leaf think even more. And its longing to see all the things the wise Wind talked about grew bigger and bigger. But its place was here, it was a leaf, bound to the tree.

Yet one day, as the days started to grow shorter and the sun kissed the leaves awake in the morning, something was different in the little Leaf.There was a new feeling with its devouring longing. Certainty. It had appeared without warning, unexpected and scary in its strength.

"I will fly,", felt Leaf. "I just have to take courage. What's the big difference, in the worst case I will sink to the floor a bit before my time."

It waited, until its friend Wind came by. "Wind,"said Leaf, "take me with you, I have to see the world!"

And with all the courage it could muster it ripped its foot from the safe place on Mothers branch and gave itself to the Wind.

Wind carried it up, high into the air with him. Oh, how gorgeous it was! How big and beautiful was the world!

But Wind became weaker and decided to take a break. Yet Leaf did not want to stop seeing the world, did not want to sink softly to the ground yet! The longing to see more, grew so strong that wings grew out of Leafs sides. Leaf moved the freshly grown bodyparts and managed to hold itself up in the air, even though Wind rested. Higher and farther it went and what it saw filled it with so much joy and wonder, with so much beauty, that it felt like exploding from delight – and a peak formed on its tip to let its joy cover the silent world in a beautiful song.

This is how Birds came into the world. They still love the Wind and their Mother, the Tree, and each evening they return to her to rest and tell her and her leaves of all the wonders of the world.

(inspired by Aamber Forest)