Understanding Leaves by Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo, is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for over 30 years. Nepo is best known for his New York Times #1 bestseller, The Book of Awakening. The following poem is from his book The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting

Understanding Leaves by Mark Nepo

The leaves do what we canā€™t.
They wait their whole lives.

At first they dream of air
and wait to slip from wood.

Then they dream of openness
and wait to stretch in light.

Then they dream of thirst
and wait to soften in the rain.

At last they dream of nothing
and simply unfurl.

Photosynthesis is how this waiting
is described in the physical world.

The mystery of waiting is what
turns light into food.

To wait beyond what we think
we can bear is how things
within turn sweet.


For reflection alone or together:

What word or phrase from the poem stands out to you? 

What about that word or phrase draws your attention? 

Is there an action that might follow from this word or phrase?

Next week: Adam Grant on givers and takers in the workplace