Beauteous As A Fallen Leaf

"Fare thee well" some day I'll say
When my moments on earth have withered away.

Let me depart in a blaze of glory,
Amid hallmark hues of my singular life story.

Forsake monotony and standardized drear,
Let variegation bring a measure of cheer.

I want not like a barren branch to be,
Weathered, yet unremarkable to see.

Rather, like a lovely leaf I shall fall,
Pronounced by vivid color as I drift from it all.

May others my brilliance at the end behold,
So remnants of my being will still unfold.

Though gone from roots and the family tree
I'll be embedded forever in memory.

(by Mary Ellen Markant, All Rights Reserved)

The word "leaves" relates to death in more than one relevant way:

Departures... the evolutionary absence engendered by relinquishing familiarity, discontinuing viability, and becoming part of history...
Pages of books... revealing personal stories of moments lived while experiencing, learning, and growing, only to reach a stage of passing on to others remnants of substance for their own narratives of life...
Foliated masterpieces of creation... which, for a while, grace living trees and flora upon earth, but in predictable synchrony, according to natural cycles, surrender their attachments and fade away when their season of life ends...  

Nature dictates that, eventually, all living things must die and leave this earth. Some can only exit inconspicuously, while others have the potential to make a statement reflecting emblems of their existence. Like varied and vibrant leaves bursting with color when their life cycles are completed, human endings can be uniquely memorable.

As diverse creations, lives and leaves are recognized by their distinguishing characteristics. Each is defined in some way that renders individuality. Both have features that separate them from one another within their species. But at life's end, it is the leaves that have been most apt to make an exquisite final impression. 

Let us be more like leaves, capturing the attention of onlookers. Let us inspire our life companions through special experiences that will enrich them with indelible recollections of their associations with us. Let the concluding synopses of our life stories mirror our distinctions. Let them be bold and beautiful. Let us leave in splendor.

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