by Linda Apple
Once there was a very conscientious leaf who took it’s job of feeding the tree very seriously. Even though it had sprouted on the lowest branch, it would stretch as far as it could to find the sun.
One day a young child walked by and stripped the leaf from the limb, then threw it on the ground. The leaf was upset at being torn from the tree so early in its life. It despaired at not being allowed to fulfill its purpose. Day after day it laid on the ground and watched all the other leaves feeding the tree, fulfilling their purpose, while it dried up.
One evening it whispered to the tree, “Tree, I’m so sorry I failed you.”
The tree answered, “Oh, leaf. You haven’t failed me. Just rest. Soon the earth will incorporate you and push you into my roots. Then you will not only feed me, you will become a part of me.”
Peace and happiness filled the leaf. It would get to fulfill its purpose after all, just not in the way it first thought.
Life has a way of stripping us from our branch, doesn’t it? But that doesn’t mean our only choice is to dry up and blow away. Sometimes these set backs give us a greater purpose. The wisdom we glean, the lessons we learned, and the wisdom we gained not only makes us stronger, but gives us something of value to invest in others.