#PhilosophicalFriday 2 – one leaf falling autumn
Literally, this Chinese idiom means: one leaf falling autumn. – How may this be interpreted? Maybe: The first falling leaf announces the beginning of autumn. Small details predict great events. Interpreted in this way, the idiom addresses the possibility and the wish to be able to detect developments at an early stage, to read the signs of nature. Because, when autumn comes, you cannot stop it – and winter will follow.
How does that translate to daily life? If one were able to spot a development very early, one may accompany it, experience it, maybe even enjoy it. But there is always a but: If one tries too hard to anticipate events, one may tend to suppress any spotted activity. – As there could develop an „autumn“ one likes to try to prevent.
The first falling leaf announces the beginning of autumn
The European view on the autumn is somewhat more laid back. In Polish language, the months of falling leaves (listopad) is November – a time of the year, where the whole development is already over. The vibrant play of colours is now history and the autumn storms empty the last trees. And why this obsession with „one falling leaf“? As it is well known, it takes more than one swallow to make a summer! Read the other way round, in the mind of a (stereo)typical European only a lot of swallows do make a summer. – But at this stage of full summer, would it not have been better, if one had finished the preparations for one’s summer activities beforehand…? – as our Chinese quote of the week quietly points out.
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