Colors, falling leaves reflect the challenges of change

Eric Ariel Salas

Eric Ariel Salas

She said “I love you” and hung up the phone. A little girl ran towards her, asking “Is daddy at work?” She nodded and gave the child a tight hug – a profound love I saw that very instant.

I was glancing at them, a photo-perfect mother-daughter pair under the shade of a pale green tree. Leaves were falling on them and sprinkling her every kiss attempt and the girl’s every giggle of anticipation.

Only the leaves could render a clear testimony of the sugar-coated whispers they, at that time, both exchanged, like music to their ears.

The trees inspired me to write. There was a day I accounted the number of leaves that have actually fallen. Hundreds. No, thousands of them did bid the branches farewell.

While I am trying to follow their daily fate and relish their myriad colors before they would finally succumb to the winds, I am also led to think that the trees are merely taking a new stage, changing the old to something unsullied, akin to snakes changing skins. As part and parcel of their changing, trees have to undergo the essential phase so as to relieve themselves from dealing with old stuff and create a new atmosphere and a new beginning.

Oh, how could I possibly evolve like a tree, ever willing to change and bloom anew? It is difficult to get out of situations I have tied myself to for so many years and to shape into something new outside the quarters I have already firmly established. Here in my new environment in Brookings, I think of home, of family bonds and friendships, of things familiar that I need to momentarily kiss goodbye.

The honest truth: it is difficult to forgo. It requires me to unfasten the old corroded screws and replace them with yet untried, silvery beaming ones. I need to let go of the attachments, otherwise I might be faced someday with a situation that I would regret for the rest of my life.

Vincent and Mark and the rest of my new friends are making me see things beyond the dusky skies. That every cloud indeed has a silver lining. It may take a few more days, when the sun is out and the clouds are clear, for me to fully appreciate the purpose of leaving friends and family behind. For certain, it isn’t only for personal satisfaction but to looking beyond self, towards real promise, towards reality, de facto.

For the time being, I have to pull myself up by my bootstraps and hold on to the belief that sweeter rewards await in every sacrifice of patience.

Just like daddy who missed a day with his child at the park in order to bring a brighter future for his family.

Just like the falling of the leaves – trees sacrifice in order to see youthful covers and to shape new horizons.