A TREE LEAF ONCE TAUGHT ME

I keep this photo to remind me of what a tree leaf once taught me. Feeling exhausted after a hard mornings’ work, I sat in the grass to have lunch and picked up this fragile heart-shaped leaf. In that moment, the tree leaf taught me two things, sharing intangible knowledge not taught in school: Always loving others, whether you are complete or fragmented, human or more-than-human, in a perfect state or not. And noticing recurring patterns of life. As the leaf is turning yellow and dying, it returns to the tree roots to become a nurturing soil for new leaves. The leaf is broken and fractured, but it was so beautiful when it was photographed with its green leaf companions, the blue sky, and the new life — and love — shining through the cracks of its decomposing body. This is how all beings on earth coexist and depend on each other. 

Prompt by: Jieyu Jiang, 27. China