June 15

SAITH the Poet, "The winds blow upon the trees, and their leaves fall upon the ground. Then do the trees begin to bud again, and by the springtime they put forth new branches. So is the generation of men; some come into the world, and others go out of it." Of these leaves then thy Children are. And they also that applaud thee so gravely, or, that applaud thy speeches, with that their usual acclamation, O wisely spoken! and speak well of thee, as on the other side, they that stick not to curse thee, they that privately and secretly dispraise and deride thee, they also are but leaves. And they also that shall follow, in whose memories the names of men famous after death, is preserved, they are but leaves neither. For even so is it of all these worldly things. Their spring comes, and they are put forth. Then blows the wind, and they go down. And then in lieu of them grow others out of the common matter of all things, like unto them. But, to endure but for a while, is common unto all. Why then shouldst thou so earnestly either seek after these things, or fly from them, as though they should endure for ever? Yet a little while, and thine eyes will be closed up, and for him that carries thee to thy grave shall another mourn within a while after.



  1. Ahh a Reality Check on a Monday morning. My own personal application of this will be to try to figure out "the best things" and pursue these pursuits. Rather than running around after the more transient and accomplishing nothing concrete. Today I will get my housework, laundry and supper accomplished and then focus on just what these pursuits will be and try to work on them. :)

  2. Perspective. It is the illusion that there is a single 'right choice' that causes so much stress. That the things we choose now have eternal consequences. Who are we? Leaves. If we fall to the lee of tree or to the windward side, does it matter to the tree? Does it matter to the leaf, once fallen. But all will have their place in the universe, prepared for them by logos from the beginning of time.

  3. If I liken myself to a flower, perhaps a Rose, I should strive to be the most fragrant, colourful and bountiful rose that I can be. The trick in life is to figure out what activities and pursuits make the best of our "best self" and to pursue these things as a priority in our lives. We often get sidetracked away from our potential as a Rose and think of ourselves as a Carnation instead. Yes, it is still a flower but we can never be a good Carnation if we are a Rose.

  4. Spring comes, leaves burst forth
    Blows the wind, and they go down
    Others grow; our lives.

  5. It is a common belief that in order to be good, life must be long. If a long life is a good life, then an eternal life, so goes the belief, is better. But it is not so. The duration of any thing is not a measure of its quality. We do not mourn the short life because it is short, but because its potential for good is ended. How much more should we mourn the long life, if it has been squandered in mere distraction, or worse, in destruction. Life, in and of itself is not good or bad, for there are somethings we would not do to preserve our own lives. There is something beyond life's mere continuance against which we measure it for quality. Seneca has taught us that life, if we but know how to live it, is 'long' if it has been spent in courage, justice, moderation, compassion and wisdom. For we will all die. In fact, we must die, for this is the nature of the universe of which we are made, in which we live and move and have our being, and into which we must ultimately dissolve. Death is not the measure of the quality of life, merely its quantity. It is how one has lived, indeed it is how one is now living, that is the mearsure of life's quality.