I was recently at a spiritual retreat offered by Threshold Society at Garrison, NY. The theme of the retreat was “Living from the Heart”. It was quite enlightening and heart awakening experience. I met some wonderful people who came from different cultural and religious backgrounds, but are all on their quest for finding the way to the Heart and living from the Heart.
As I have been going through a number of difficulties and challenges in my own life, as well as in my extended family, it has been on my mind most of the time while I was at the retreat. During one of the breaks, I came to a balcony and looked outside towards the beautiful Hudson River. It being the Fall season, there were colors everywhere, though different kind of colors. The colors of drying and falling leaves. I witnessed for the first time that although these trees were losing their flowers, fruits and the leaves, all the signs of abundance, they still looked so calm, quiet and humbled as if expressing utmost gratitude towards the Creator.
Gratitude, for the generosities of the Creator in the Spring, all those young green leaves, colorful flowers, delicious fruits and a dense and cool shade, which provided comfort and nourishment for countless living beings.
Gratitude, which continues to be there, even when the abundance of the Spring is long gone and has been replaced with nothingness and emptiness of dry falling leaves and barren branches.
Gratitude, is what I feel now when I look at a tree with dry falling leaves, as it appears spreading its arms towards the sky and saying “Alhamdulillah” (Praise be to God).