THE RED LEAF
by Toni Eggers
When I was seven years old I watched a red leaf fall from the very top of the tree. Other leaves were falling, but only after this first leaf fell. One always has to be the first.
I watched the brave first-grader who went down the big slide first. (Why are some so eager to try a new thing?)
Others were always the first to recite or the first to bring a present for the teacher.
My sister could ride the bicycle and skate. She was not afraid to swim. No one helped her to learn these things, but I needed coaxing...and patience. No one taught me how to do these things, so I never learned to ride the bicycle or skate. But worse than anything I hated to be told. "You can do this. Now do it!" It gave me no choice.
Many of the leaves had fallen the next day. The very top of the tree was bare, except for the one leaf. I wanted to call out to the leaf, "Come down. Your friends are on the ground," but I decided to wait patiently. All the leaf had to do was sway with the wind and it would fall. It seemed as though the leaf had been watching the others; some fell quickly, and others more slowly. "You could come down slowly," I whispered. Maybe the leaf was afraid of quick movements.
My friend wanted to shake the tree and make it fall down. "Don't you do that," I said almost in tears. "It's my friend, and it will come down when it is ready." I knew all about being afraid. I wanted to ride the new bicycle we had, but every time I got on it I fell and skinned my knees.
The third morning, when I went out to see about the lone leaf, I saw a sparrow sitting on top of the tree. All of a sudden the sparrow took the leaf in its mouth and flew down with it, dropping it gently on the ground.
Only God can make a tree with a leaf. Only God knows how a special leaf is to fall from the tree. God knows our capabilities and lets us learn these in our own good time.
This page was created on 22 May 1998
Last updated on 22 May 1998
Reproduced with Thanks