Oak leaves are floating down to earth today. A breeze rattles them, shaking them off their branches.
Earth returns to earth.
We know that last spring, the branches were bare. Sap made of ground water and minerals (i.e., an aspect of earth) rose into the tree and branches, and oak leaves unfurled. Now their 6-month life span is over, and these leaves, made of earth and water are returning to earth. Oak leaves are already pretty crunchy, having lost most of the water element that made them glisten red just a week ago.
Our very own earth element returns to earth, every single day. Dead skin cells, nail parings, poop. The fruits of the earth come into our bodies via our mouths and leave via our back-sides. What of this can we claim as "me?"
We walk through piles of leaves, piles of dead leaf bodies. Our compost is a pile of dead plant bodies. And the earth we walk on, the dust on our shoes, the dirt under our fingernails are the remains of hundreds and thousands of dead bodies.
Oak trees are baring their secret selves to us now--skeletons against the sky.
And our secret self? Earth, water, air just passing through.