How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
-Elsie N. Brady, poet
As Brady points out, when leaves “come to rest upon the ground,” it is a completion, but the work of fallen autumn leaves is far from done at that point. As they “rest upon the ground,” besides being a warm blanket for what lies beneath them and a life-saving provision for the trees, they become food for a host of soil organisms that are vital to the overall health of ecosystems. As time moves on and the leaves decompose, they restock the soil with nutrients and they make up a part of the spongy humus that absorbs and holds rainfall. At last “with the arrival of warmth and spring, insects, bacteria, and fungi gear up! Leaves are chewed and rotted, releasing nutrients for plant growth.” So it is that with another round of plant growth, Creation and its inhabitants are guaranteed what they need to survive until the recycling process begins again the next fall. How comforting it is to know that the Hand of the Almighty is always near! For, you see, it was after a stroke threatened my life and wholeness a year ago yesterday that the Lord’s mighty hands performed the necessary miracles to grant me another year of health and life.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. ~Psalm 40:3a ✝