If a leaf falls in the forest and there’s nobody there to catch it…
Now why would anybody want to catch a leaf?
Because it’s there. And because it never will be again!
Because life can feel crazy, it can be too ordered. We can feel pressured and ‘wrong’ and we want to break free.
Because with the best will in the world from the town planners (who celebrate World Town Planning Day today) we want free, we want chaos and disorder and we want to make our own individual mark on the world.
… because we want a moment to matter.
You get to catch something that has never been touched before by any living person. It’s something quite unique in your hand. It will be a FIRST and NEVER to be repeated event with that leaf. No one can ever ‘first touch’ that leaf again!
You have featured in the life of that leaf and that tree. You have touched Nature. And it’s REAL.
And apart from being so profound it’s also great fun!
I’ve seen grown adults go through a whole range of emotions in just a matter of minutes:
- From being reluctant to being so silly,
- to annoyance at narrowly missing catching a leaf,
- frustration at waiting (while they see others catching them),
- and then final victory, smiles and laughter at their success.
I also suspect that in this simple, childish game Nature gently prises off years of accumulated self-important stuffiness to reveal the simple joy within us.
What a gift to us!
One of the Astrogemanti, Jess, wrote following my posts to describe her experiences of ‘Touching the Hair of the Goddess’ (aka ‘catching a leaf’). Here’s her story:
I did it—touched the Hair of the Goddess! I was just out in my front yard amongst the trees, the wind picked up, leaves started falling. I darted for one but didn’t get it. My brother was next door starting up his motorcycle (wonderful warm fall day here—perfect for a spin on the bike) and my darting movement caught his eye—he looked over at me in a concerned way—no doubt wondering why I was scampering across my yard barefoot—seemingly chasing nothing. I just threw my head back and laughed and shrugged my shoulders at him. He looked at me like I had three heads and just shook his head and went back to his motorcycle.
I paid him no mind and went back to my “Hair play.” I caught one—such fun.
I stoked the leaf and gave it a quick kiss and put it on the ground about where I thought it would have landed had I not intercepted it. It put a big smile on my face.
Now she’d got the hang of it she wanted to share…
I went out walking in the woods with my sister a couple of days later. Told her about the Hair of the Goddess and she caught one. It was such fun to see her joy (she’s a big kid like me.) You’ll be pleased to know that my 23 year old nephew set himself free enough today to touch the Hair of the Goddess. He got one and felt very pleased with himself, I must say.
A day or so later I was off with a friend walking at the waterfront and introduced her to the practice. Her eyes lit up. She reached for one—missed it, but I have every confidence she will get one. We are going on that walk again next Friday and if she hasn’t gotten one by then, I will remind her to try again.
See what you started? Isn’t it just marvelously good fun to watch people’s faces light up when they get a leaf? Oh, I do think the Goddess is having fun with us this fall 🙂
It’s wonderful to still have that aliveness and a sense of wonder about us and still have the ability to be childlike. Positively refreshing.
Thanks for starting this whole thing!
If you’re couped-up,
if you’re fed-up,
if you feel powerless,
if you want the world to notice that you’re still alive,
if you hunger to reconnect with your inner child,
if you long for those seemingly lost care-free days of old, when simple enjoyment did not require electricity or a subscription…
… the do yourself a favour while there’s still time.