I Descend into the Beauty – a video poem

I wrote the following poem from the perspective of a dying maple leaf. Several years ago I was driving along Interstate 81 heading toward Roanoke, Virginia. It was autumn and the leaves were absolutely gorgeous. I pulled my car over to the side of the road to enjoy a breathtaking view that overlooked a valley filled with white farmhouses and green pastures. The surrounding trees were brilliantly splotched with every color that autumn could possibly render. As I stood there drinking in the scene, I noticed a maple tree on the side of the ridge beside me. Its head was stretching in the wind. The tree grew out sideways over the valley and as a result it had lost almost all of its leaves. I took special note of one bright yellow leaf that hung on tight, shivering all alone in the wind. That leaf held fast when almost every other leaf had given way, falling hundreds of feet into the valley below.  I wrote this poem with that leaf in mind. I cling to life.  Just like that little leaf. I hang on with the vain hope that I will live forever, scared to death of the “undiscover’d country, from whose bourn no traveler returns.”  Yet, a day will come, sooner than I realize, when the Autumn Daystar (the beloved Savior – Jesus Christ) will call me to let go of that which was never mine.  As that day moves closer, I am learning how to die – how to bear the Cross, how to die to myself, how to die to sin, idolatry, selfishness, and anger. I am learning to surrender to the call of Christ’s sacrificial love.  I am learning to surrender to the music that will one day sound my departure from this life.  Until then, may Christ prepare me for that day, so that I may release my grip with joy and worship, singing “Autumn Daystar, bid me come.”