When is a leaf not a leaf?

“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”
― Phaedrus

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When is a leaf not a leaf you ask….When it’s an impression in the sidewalk….

If you haven’t been to Savannah, perhaps you have seen the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil or perhaps you’ve seen pictures. Perhaps you have seen shots of the famous Forsyth Park fountain. We’re having a wedding here in June you know…. This is a large beautiful and scerne park. Ancient oaks draped in ethereal spanish moss line the diverging walkways which all converge at the beautiful fountain…

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Along the walkways, if you happen to glance down, as you walk along the light dappled paths, you may notice that the concrete has the impression of leaves all throughout the walkways in the park. A nice little subtle touch. Chances are not many guests who walk the park notice to look down…I found the pressed leaves to be a lovely added nuance of wonderment to an already wondrous place.

The whole impression leaf thing, which, mind you, look like very real leaves complete with vein details and foliage defects, had me thinking about life and what constitutes a genuine life verses something that is made to look genuine and real. Genuineness is something that seems to be a rare commodity in this flash in the pan thing we call life in this western society of ours.

So many people try to pretend that they are something or someone that they are not. False wealth, false bodies…phony folks who attempt hiding behind name brand this and that, all who desperately try to climb the proverbial ladder of success by hook and crook–which actually leads to no where. Turn on any television or look through any magazine to hear and see the falsehoods otherwise known as advertising….promises that you will look younger, thinner, taller, richer, happier, hairier–your teeth will be whiter, your skin clearer, your posture straighter….I never knew we were in such bad shape.

Why do we all try so hard to pretend to be something we are not? Who cares that we’re not all “cutting edge”— that we’re not all Über trendy chic, not all driving the latest greatest luxury cars, we’re not all wearing the haute couture of the latest name brand designer….We spend so much time, money and energy working to mold ourselves into our perfect concept of who we should be. Whatever happened to being”real?” It’s as if real is not good enough anymore. We need real to be bigger and better. Perhaps real is too real and we didn’t like what we saw. Pity…
I miss real.
I miss genuine.
I miss authentic.
I miss not knowing what it is I’m getting from the get go.
Who can you trust? “Do I look good in this, or is it too tight, too young?” “Oh no, you look wonderful” …doesn’t matter that you’re 20 years too old and 20 pounds too heavy for whatever it is the sales person is trying to hustle your way….

Oh the sad list goes on and on and on….

The 20th century civil rights leader, educator and theologian, Howard Thurman put it best:
“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”

Refuse to dangle by the string that is being pulled by someone other than yourself—be genuine, be authentic. Dare to be the real person God made you to be……

3 comments on “When is a leaf not a leaf?

  1. Juan Knows says:

    Looks like a perfect place to just sit down, contemplate about life, or read my favourite book!!! Perfect…

  2. Lynda says:

    I was there many years ago and it is a beautiful place. But what strikes me is your thoughts about being real. My father used to quote this line from Shakespeare all the time and I have never forgotten: “This above all to thine own self be true; thou canst not then be false to any man.”

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