The Day the Leaves Fell
It was a beautiful autumn morning in London. I woke up to the birds chirping outside my window. I yawned and slowly got out of my bed. I looked at my bedside table and found my phone. I looked at the time, it was just 8 o'clock. It was my day off. I went towards the window and pushed it open. I saw outside and loved the view. The sun had come out and was shining on the street, bouncing sun rays off the rooftops. I could see elderly people strolling across the street, walking their dogs and I could see couples jogging together.
I was struck with the couples jogging together. Two people who are supposedly in love, wake up together, say good morning to one another, smile at each other and then they jog together. What a beautiful morning it must be for them? I wish I had a special someone in my life that I could do all that with, someone who would wake up with me, who I could smile at, who I could go to when I am down for a hug, someone who would go jogging with me in the mornings. It would be so beautiful. I was so immersed in my thoughts; I stood there just staring outside.
I got around to changing my clothes and then wore a cardigan over my top. Went downstairs and had breakfast. I spooned corn flakes in to the bowl and then started to pour milk in and once again I was lost in my thoughts. I almost poured too much milk in the bowl.
After getting done with breakfast, I grabbed my trench coat and put it on. Wore gloves on my hands and wrapped my muffler around the neck. It was not freezing but it was still pretty cold. I walked out of my house and started walking towards the nearby park. I always love to go to the park and just sit there for hours, observing people, hearing birds chirp, staring at the water, smelling the fragrance of the flowers. All of them are my favourite things to do. Thankfully the park is not far from my house. I love walking in to the park and meeting the people that I have made friends with. I love hearing old Mrs Perkins say “Good Morning, Aisha” to me every morning or little cute boy John smiling at me and want to play with me at the swings.
I walked in to the park and just stood there for a second to register the view in my mind. It was breathe taking and beautiful. All the colours of autumn season were out in full force, the hues of golden and browns, the occasional greens, the yellows. There were children playing at the swings and people jogging. There were leaves on the ground and trees which looked barren. Mothers without children that are what those trees looked like to me, that or a dry eye which has lost almost all of its tears. I started to walk forward and I started to walk slowly over the path which took me deep in to the orchard of the trees. I was so lost in my thoughts. I felt very lonely. The past few years had not been easy on me, so many things had happened in my life. My heart had faced a lot of beating and gone through a lot of pain. No one was there for me when I needed someone the most, everyone who was, deserted me and ran away; never looking back at me even once. Never, not even once thinking how I would feel. I had realised that trusting people is not a good thing; they just break your heart and move on. It is not even trusting men, but trusting friends or anyone for that matter. I was at that point of my life, where I wanted to just take a risk and do something I have never done before.
I was someone who had loved people a lot, until people hurt me. I had alienated myself from everyone when that incident happened. That incident which had caused me considerable pain, that incident which still brings tears to my eyes, even after all these years. I was so surprised at people; I was so surprised at the way people acted. I had gotten to know that never trust anyone until they show their true colours. Only those people that are with you through thick and thin, that stay by you even during your worst days and help you get up when you fall down, are your true friends. Those are the people that are worth keeping in your life. I had lost everything. I was such a dreamer; I was a person who loved life.
I was the person who dreamt about running through jungles with arms in the air, singing my heart out and being happy. I was the person who could feel wind dancing upon their face and hear the sweet melody of spring, whenever I went for a walk in the park. I was the person who loved hearing birds chirp because it brought me happiness. Something had stolen my happiness from me and I was determined to get my happiness back. To be the person that I was, I knew I had to make a lot of changes.
I was thinking about all of this while walking underneath trees. These were half barren trees which had lost almost all or most of its leaves. I could see leaves falling on my head. I extended my hand upwards and let a leaf fall on to it. I kept staring at the leaf. It was like I had saved it from falling or like I had saved it from getting hurt. I had saved it from getting stepped upon by people, like people had stepped upon my heart. Difference was there was no one to save my heart. I gently placed the leaf aside, near the tree’s trunk. I walked on into the midst when suddenly my knee hit the edge of a bench; I felt I should sit down and just contemplate for a while.
There was a hedge nearby and I could see a lot of flowers. The fragrance from the flowers invigorated my senses. I took a deep breath and took every bit of it inside me. I closed my eyes and felt something. The sweet smell of pollen tickled my fancy. I opened my eyes and saw a bee hovering around a flower petal. The flower was protected by a lot of leaves and it seemed the bee wanted the pollen from this particular flower. It tried to enter the flower to get to the anthers but failed. I stared at the bee struggling to enter the flower, wondering what it would do next. It circled around the flower and every time it would somehow fail to enter it. I thought the bee would give up and go to some other flower but no, this time around the bee managed to enter the flower.
I was very bewildered by the bee’s tenaciousness and impressed. I had made an astute observation, I was thinking, sometimes struggles are exactly what we need. Going through life without struggles would cripple us, we will not be as strong as we could have been and we would never learn to fly. Just like the bee didn’t give up, struggled and came out strong. The bee achieved what it wanted to do, to take pollen from that anther and this is what we humans should do as well. We should not give up on life, if something doesn’t work out, we should move ahead in life and make sure we never give up hope. We ourselves, can make our lives pleasant, no one can help us. If we help ourselves, god will help us. I was feeling pretty good at this point, after making this observation. What I lacked was self-respect at this point and people only respect you, if you respect yourself. I had given up on myself, I had let myself slide. I needed to stand back up. I needed to stand on my two feet and walk again. Then I needed to run. I needed to run; otherwise I would be left behind. Time and tide waits for none. People and this cruel world would forget about me, no one was going to come help me. I had to help myself change and progress in my life. I had to make myself happy.
I stood up from the bench, smiling. I started to walk back towards the park entrance, but this time around I had pleasant thoughts in mind. So what if I don’t have someone in my life right now? So what the people that I did have, left me? I couldn’t let myself down and cry my precious tears out on people, who did not even give a damn about my tears. Those people never cared about me, so why should I waste my precious tears on them. Why should I give myself considerable pain every day and why should I be the one to get hurt, when obviously they are unaffected? The more I walked, the more I smiled and beamed at the world. When the time would be right, someone would come in to my life. The time was just not right at the moment and I would wait. Until then, I had to bring my life back on track; I had to be the person that I was. I had to be the cheerful and happy Aisha again. Why should I change for people? There are billions of people in the world and surely I would find people that I connect with well, who like me for who I am. I didn’t have to be sad and down, or feel lonely any more. I had myself; the biggest gift from god that I could get. I was living a much better life than a lot of people, I had my work and my studies and I had my family. I had a family who had been there for me, loved me and cared for me, supported me throughout my bad times and raised me and so I thought, I shouldn’t do this to them. My family is important to me and my happiness is important to them. They would not like to see me down and depressed all the time.
It was a beautiful autumn morning in London and it was also the day leaves fell on my head. I would never forget this day. The day bees thought me a very valuable life lesson. The day I smiled again. The day I acknowledged that I would change my life and be back to normal. I would stop wasting precious time and tears and I would learn to be happy again. And, so I was walking back to the park entrance and I stood there for a second, surveying the scene around me; the smiles on peoples’ faces, the birds and the trees, the colourful flowers and I nodded my head. I smiled at myself and walked out of the park. I was going back home, feeling like a different person already.
Picture credit: Attiya Azeem Photography. Page on Facebook.