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The Purpose of a Leaf

This post is a continued exploration into the wonderful world of sunk costs. I will try to make it stand on its own, and if you're interested in the backstory: Sandcastles in the Sea (Part 1 - two minute read), and Your Past, Your Present, and the Work (Part 2 - another two minute read).

I've been thinking about the word ephemeral a lot recently.

It's such a beautiful word.

It simply means fleeting. Something that lasts for a short time.

As most words do, ephemeral has a natural opposite.


Let's put these two together and explore our world a little.

As I write this, the season of fall is nearing its end.

Think about the purpose and life cycle of a leaf.

For the sake of simplicity, picture a tree that sheds its leaves and has those wonderfully arresting colours in the fall.

The purpose of the leaf, is to provide nourishment.

Its life cycle is very short, relative to the trunk of the tree.

You could say it this way:

The leaf is ephemeral. The trunk is enduring.

What's beautiful about this, is that the leaf is also essential.

In order for something to endure, it must experience many ephemeral things.

The ephemeral things provide nourishment.

They are essential and they are fleeting.

It's so easy for our attention to be wrapped up in something ephemeral.

Ephemeral things are often more attractive, practically speaking.

When was the last time you commented on the trunk of a tree vs. the colour of its leaves?

I'll end with this:

Ephemeral things are essential and attractive. Don't let their purpose blind you from what's enduring.

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