What once did flourish
withers in the days of lives.
What goes ’round, comes ’round.
The bright sun on a crisp fall afternoon is among my favorite weather days. The scent of leaves decomposing reminds me of playing outside as a kid. Whatever we played, we’d end up on the ground at some point, rolling around. Merging with the moist soil in the midst of the cushion of fallen leaves is reassuring.
I remember reading something about this in the classic novel “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Along with others, Paul, the protagonist, a German foot soldier in World War I, often has to burrow into the earth for safety. There’s a passage where he presses his face to the ground and embraces the earth. Staying low to avoid enemy fire, he needs to become part of the soil to survive.
I wrote the Haiku above in response to a prompt of “withers” on a website I follow. It got me thinking about the cycle of nature. To wither at one point requires a flourishing at its opposite point. It’s a necessary polarity, like the two sides of a coin.
Paul, the soldier, like all of us, began low to the ground. Then we grow taller, moving onto two legs. As we age, we shrink a bit, being pulled by gravity closer and closer to the ground. As we shrink, others grow. Those leaves that wither today will provide fertilizer for what will grow next spring.
What thoughts, what beliefs, do I have today that are withering, helping bring me a fresh perspective tomorrow?