Falling Leaves – Ana Lisa De Jong

by Christine Sine

Hermann Hesse Quote

Does a tree ever worry about losing its leaves?    Or does it have an innate knowledge, that governed by the laws of nature; its leaves, though they may fall, will return again. Yes, we can learn great lessons from the silent trees.  To learn to shed what is no longer needed without regret.  To trust in the seasons, and in spring’s eventual return.

One of my recent journal entries, reads, ‘even people do not belong to us.  We must let them go like falling leaves in autumn.  The tree cannot hold its leaves, if it tried with all its might.  It will only hurt itself trying.  Leaves were made to fall.  Only God stands sure, His promises secure for us forever.  The leaves in this world are transient, impermanent.  They are made to fall.  The tree connected to God is not afraid of loss for its life-blood is connected to Him who will never fail us, or let us go, or let us down.’

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)

Today as I was contemplating what to write on my first post on Godspace, I was reminded how my thoughts had kept returning to the trees, and their lessons to us.  And in the wonderful way God works, I came across the following quote by Herman Hesse, published by Weavings Magazine.

For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers… Trees are sanctuaries.  Whoever knows know to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.  They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”  Hermann Hesse

Thank you trees for your enduring lessons.  I pray we may learn to lose our leaves without regret, knowing we will retain what matters.  And that we may remember also that constant renewal is another law of life, upon which we can depend.

Ana Lisa de Jong

Living Tree Logo (small in green)
Living Tree Poetry

Fooling Ourselves

We fool ourselves.
Believe ourselves to be attached fast
to the leaf.
But shaking in the wind,
as blossoms on the branch;
buffeted enough,
we find ourselves,


We fool ourselves.
That it won’t be our turn.
Comforting others,
measuring out
our careful wisdom.
We forget there will be a day,
we will need,
our own medicine.

But we all have our days,
in the sun,
when we blossom, and bloom.
While the days in the wind,
we resist and turn from;
though they come
to everyone.

So I fool myself.
Believe myself secure,
and steadfast.
Living tree, roots deep in the ground.
And I am: deeply rooted,
and aware of my source.
Yet the wind, with a life of its own, 
still abounds.

But what if I said ‘come’?
Come wind, what may.
Lift my blossoms, torn off my limbs,
give them breath, and uplift.
Show them the view
from up high.
Show them there’s more ahead,
than what I can see, right now.

And that my security,
my security lies not,
in holding on, till my petals are damp,
and torn.
But in letting go,
in finding freedom in the uncertainty,
trusting in the life source
of all things.

“So, I close my eyes to old ends and open my heart to new beginnings” Nick Frederickson

Ana Lise De JongAna Lisa de Jong enjoys her work as an Administrator for the New Zealand Defence Force Chaplaincy team. Most of all though she enjoys writing, nature, relationships, and God – not necessarily in that order. Since waiting until her 40’s to rediscover the joy of writing, Ana Lisa has contributed to Refresh Journal of Contemplative Spirituality, Scriptural Nuggets, Turning the Page, and Godspace.  She released her first inspirational poetry volume ‘Songs in the Night – Poetry for the Soul’, in 2014. Finding plenty of words still coming, Ana Lisa’s second volume of her ‘Poetry for the Soul’ series, ‘Hope Springs’ is winging its way to print. Ana Lisa lives in the beautiful North West region of Auckland, New Zealand with her husband and two children.

Connect with her website, on Facebook, and through New Zealand Christian Writers 

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Joy Lenton October 27, 2015 - 10:37 am

I love your poem and reflection on trees, Ana Lisa. These lines spoke deep to my soul as invitation and longing:

“But what if I said ‘come’?
Come wind, what may.
Lift my blossoms, torn off my limbs,
give them breath, and uplift.
Show them the view
from up high.
Show them there’s more ahead,
than what I can see, right now.”

What if, indeed? Bless you. 🙂

Ana Lisa de Jong October 27, 2015 - 2:42 pm

Thank you Joy. I loved the words that from Joan Chittister in her book ‘The Monastery of the Heart’, reviewed on Godspace.

We are at the disposal
of the human race,
in whatever form or function
it presents itself to us:
as neighbour,
as family,
as citizen,
as stranger,
as artist,
as disciples together
on the way to God (131)

Love that our art, our creativity and inspiration is a gift that God has given us to share xx

Ana Lisa de Jong October 27, 2015 - 1:08 pm

Joy, from one poet heart to another – thank you! This poem was written recently when I had some health concerns, which taught me a valuable lesson that God is in control, and not us! I so appreciate your poetry too Joy, which has a special ability to uplift and show us precious insights right from the heart of God. Ana Lisa.

Joy Lenton October 27, 2015 - 2:34 pm

Ana Lisa, I’m sorry to hear how you too have been struggling with health concerns. But oh what beauty God has wrought in you through it! I appreciate your art, talent and gifting hugely too, my friend. It’s lovely to discover and reconnect with you here! Hope you feel much better soon. Bless you. 🙂 x

Joy Lenton October 27, 2015 - 2:54 pm

Yes, indeed. I loved those words too. Our art, creativity and inspiration are a gift of grace intended to be offered to others. And look how conversation and community is building through your words expressed here. It’s a joy to read and discuss these things with you. I’ve put Joan Chittister’s book on my ‘Wish List’ and hope to receive it at Christmas! I found her ‘Wisdom Distilled in the Daily’ a huge blessing to read and absorb its insights. It’s been a large part of my leaning toward a more contemplative Christian pathway. We all have much to learn from one another, don’t we? Xx

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