The whirling, swirling adventures of an ordinary little leaf high on a tree, struggling to find its purpose. The leaf watches baby birds break out of their shells and grow until they learn to fly. Caterpillars wrap themselves in silk and emerge as magnificent butterflies. Warm sunny days get shorter and windy chilly nights grow longer. The little leaf is terribly worried that it should be transforming too. It no longer noticed anything other than the thoughts spinning in its head. The leaf held on to the tree with all its might, growing exhausted as increasingly cooler winds blew. Then one day, the leaf noticed it had become a beautiful crimson color. And it became aware that maybe, maybe it was time for the leaf to fly too. The leaf was very tired, so it just let go. As it danced and twirled to the ground in the amber sunlight, the leaf finally learns its own unique purpose.
Dawn Jarocki is a longtime student of Thich Nhat Hanh. She enjoys raising her young son, caring for other children as a nanny and homeschool teacher, and sharing her love of nature and mindfulness with our youngest generations.
Soren Kisiel is the author of the children's picture book The Night Our Parents Went Out and award-winning playwright and co-author with his wife, comedian Katie Goodman, of the internationally-touring comedy troupe Broad Comedy. Soren is an ordained member of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh's Buddhist lineage. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and teenage son.
Buddhist teachings and meditation offer a roadmap to help college students and others in early adulthood incorporate mindfulness into their lives as a means of facing the myriad struggles unique to this stage of life.