The Rise Of Fall

By Ken Woodley

“All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

—Matthew 23:12

I am one leaf at the bottom of the sky.
Heaven seems to end just where I begin.
The last breath of angels just where I first inhale.
A leaf I am.
And shall always be.
Forever.
And ever.
Never a tree.
Not even a twig.
But, small as I am, I give this tree communion with the sun.
Through me this tree is fed and rises higher toward the sky.
Through all of us leaves
the kingdom of heaven draws nearer.
But I am changing colors now.
All of us are.
Just like the sky that seems to end right where I begin.
Just like the sky when the sun comes and goes,
or is it me spinning away from all the light I will ever see
but then—always—spinning back again?
Red, yellow and orange are turning my green inside out.
Just like all the rest.
The leaves that have fallen before me
and will fall after I am gone.
Green together at the bottom of the sky
until the sky began to paint us with its colors of dawn and dusk,
heaven brush-stroking me in ways I never dreamed possible.
The sky always listening.
The sky always there.
Even in the darkness when I cannot see a thing
and I whisper leaf words toward where I believe the sky to be,
hoping heaven will hear me
even though I am just one leaf.
Even though I am not a forest.
Not even a sapling’s dream.
But the wind seems to give me wings.
I am flying in place.
Going nowhere.
Being somewhere already.
Right where God put me.
A leaf until I finally leave,
dropping into my fall,
fluttering like a butterfly
into the rising sky.
Angels all around.
Dry leaves crunching
beneath the feet of those
seeking the kingdom of heaven
on Earth.










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