And now they are all gone. Since early spring, abundant leaves flourished on the trees around us. Then autumn came, we gloried in the splendent yellow, red and orange array of colors on the trees. Then all the leaves fell to the ground. Now they are all gone. What remains are the brown trunks and branches—the core of the tree, standing strong and full of life. For retired folks, the demands and endless challenges they faced each of their professional days are now all gone. Yet, the purpose and the person we are meant to be becomes clearer. For parents whose children filled their lives and home with much activity and enthusiasm, years go by, the children grow up, and leave home. Empty nesters come to realize now they are all gone. Yet, they come to the realization that life-giving love is the core of being human. It seems that when they are all gone…we get in touch with a deeper sense of life and existence.
By Marlene Meierhofer, OSB