The leaves were falling from the great oak at the meadow's edge. They were falling from all the trees.
One branch of the oak reached high above the others and stretched far out over the meadow. Two leaves clung to it's very tip. "It isn't the way it used to be." said one leaf to the other.
"No,"the other leaf answered. "So many of us have fallen off tonight we're almost the only ones left on the branch."
"You never know who's going to go next, "said the first leaf. "Even when it was warm and the sun shone, a storm or a cloudburst would come sometimes, and many leaves were torn off, though they were still very young. You never know who's going to go next."
"The sun hardly shines now," sighed the second leaf, "and when it does, it gives no warmth. We must have warmth again."
"Can it be true," said the first leaf, "can it really be true, that others come to take our places when we're gone and after them still others, and more and more?"
"It really is true," whispered the second leaf. "We can't even begin to imagine it, it's beyond our powers."
"It makes me very sad," added the first leaf. They were very silent a while. Then the first leaf said quietly to itself, "Why must we fall?"
The second leaf asked, "What happens to us when we have fallen?"
"We sink down......." "What is under us?" The first leaf answered, "I don't know. Some say one thing, some another, but nobody knows."
The second leaf asked, "Do we feel anything, do we know anything about ourselves when we're down there?"
The first leaf answered, "Who knows? Not one of all those down there has ever come back to tell us about it."
Passages from Bambi... by Felix Salten written in 1928 * (cited at this website)
Maybe it was because a couple of our friends were over last night, a week night, a night like we would normally have for a Gaming Night...perhaps because they were part of the gaming group. Or because we sat at the dinner table and ate dinner versus our routine lately of sitting in the living room with t.v. trays eating dinner. Perhaps it has been in her mind, sitting there, waiting its chance to bubble out.
Appros of anything, she says "I miss Lily. I miss Paul." I hug her and tell her we all do.
And then, later as we snuggle on the couch, before bedtime..."I won't ever let you die, okay, Mommy?" I explain that it not up to her, that all living things die. But that I won't die for a long, long time. The Boy helpfully points out that when she is my age, I will probably be dead.
As I said in an earlier post, I am reading Bambi to her at night. Of course (because it seems everything must be a reminder of mortality, because I hadn't read the chapter before--Chewy had, because of fate or coincidence...or...), the passage I read last night was the conversation between two leaves. I openly cried, thinking deep thoughts. As my daughter innocently asked me why.