Thursday, November 10, 2011

the fall of freddie the leaf

All of my friends who work in college admissions are wrapping up their last recruitment trips of the season, and as they've relayed their stories about cheap hotels, missed flights, and clueless high schoolers, it's just begun to sink in:  I'm not in that world anymore. I'm a student again, and I've stayed put for the months of September and October for the first time in three years.

Okay, so three years may not sound like long, but I've only been alive for 25--that's 12% of my lifetime! (Yes, I had to pull out a calculator to do that math.) Dealing with change has never been my strong suit, and although I think I am exactly where I should be, I'll be honest--this has been an adjustment.

For some reason all this change reminds me of a book I read as a child, The Fall of Freddie the Leaf. Although the author wrote it to explain to children the complex idea of death, it's really about life, and change, and hope. It's not a sad book.

As I reread the story, it spoke to me in a new way, one part in particular:
Freddie loved being a leaf. He loved his branch, his light leafy friends, his place high in the sky, the wind that jostled him about, the sun rays that warmed him, the moon that covered him with soft, white shadows. Summer had been especially nice. The long hot days felt good and the warm nights were peaceful and dreamy. There were many people in the park that Summer. They often came and sat under Freddie's tree. Daniel told him that giving shade was part of his purpose.
"What's a purpose?" Freddie had asked.
"A reason for being," Daniel had answered. "To make things more pleasant for others is a reason for being. To make shade for old people who come to escape the heat of their homes is a reason for being. To provide a cool place for children to come and play. To fan with our leaves the picnickers who come to eat on checkered tablecloths. These are all the reasons for being."
I loved Charleston, and I still do. I loved my friends there, my home, the water. But I couldn't fulfill my purpose there. The crazy thing is, I don't even know what that purpose is yet, but I know I needed to come here to find it. So here I am.

P.S. - Forgive my navel-gazing for a moment, and expect a recipe soon! I sat down to write a post about apple cake, and this just came out.


  1. Fantastic post, Sarah! I agree, leaving Charleston was so hard, but we served our purposes there. It's fun to grow and discover new ones in our new homes! Love you and see you soon!

  2. Thank you! Love you, too, and I'm counting down the days until I get to see you again! xoxo

  3. Sarah,

    I was born and raised in Charleston. It really seeps into your soul. You have so many gifts and special qualities. You will find your destiny. I hope it leads you back to Charleston, but, wherever it leads you, you will be wonderful. I have always loved you. You are a special woman.

    Love ya',
    Miss Chris

  4. Miss Chris, what a SWEET message...I have to confess, it brought a tear to my eye. Thank you for the encouragement and love over all these years. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful extended "family" in my life!