March~My Month of Oak Leaf

IMG_9726The omen that showed up for March during the #12DaysofChristmasOmens was the oak leaf.  

This month of March started yesterday with my father posing the question out loud, but to himself, “Dave, what have you done with your life?”  I asked my dad to fill me in…what HAD he done with is life?  What was truly important to him? And he had an immediate answer…he loves computers (anything technological).  He also loved his time as a teacher at a local college and tutoring kids to read.  (And I know that he passed these loves to his children through his caring and adoration of us along with many other creative things he did not mention…but I did.)

We spoke of actual “things” he did, but for me, the deeper knowing was that he was questioning his true self.  

See, my dad has been diagnosed with Alzheimers. He and my mom are working through the shifts and changes that are present with this disease.  So, to have this time with my father where he is asking the big questions…well, this is profound for me.  To allow him to speak and for me to listen is a gift.  I have always wanted my dad to see me as the daughter who did great things! That made him proud with my work ethic and job and vitality!  But this is changing for me, too.

There is a falling away of the outward need to prove myself.  And a growing joy for bringing forth the creativity and simple joy for the natural cycle of life.  The beauty of truly living in the moment, whatever is brings.

The oak leaf represents this for me.

The oak leaf begins as a green, soft leaf from an acorn in the spring.  As time goes by, the leaf becomes more hearty, building strength, becomes a darker green with firm brown veins.  By fall, it hangs onto the tree branch with tenacity…I see this as a bit of a difficult time to let go.  Then, it eventually falls to the ground.  Before it decomposes and becomes new soil, I see the strong shape of the old oak leaf when the winter snows melt.  It remains hearty, shiny and brown on the ground.  It reminds me of the bones or remains that still hold their shape for a long time.  Until finally, it loses the bits and pieces, the veins finally break down, or it becomes mush in the new spring thaw.  Back to the earth…back to support and nourish the next generation.

What have you done with your life?  Lived it…living it…being present in this moment as the gift that it is.  The oak leaf will be my image and reminder for this month of March.  My reminder that a  life well lived is simple, strong, lets go and allows for what comes next.


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