During the autumn season, in some parts of the world, the leaf of a tree falls to the ground. Actually, many leaves fall, but one is noticed. It’s colorful. It’s beautiful. It’s similar but not the same as every other leaf that falls from the same tree. Other trees surrounding it are different altogether, yet they too have leaves that fall, with the exception of the evergreens.
The leaf. The single leaf. Unique in its color, and pattern, and shape. Its identity is all its own. Its contribution to the surroundings can go unnoticed. Each person is like the single leaf. Without a medium of preservation, the individual’s story deteriorates into oblivion. Acknowledged, the experiences, challenges, and triumphs are added to the collective interaction we admire in the beauty of nature. Each person’s life is like the single leaf, colorful and rich. Once written, it is pressed between the pages of a book to be remembered. Individually, it can be studied, framed, and sometimes even admired. Collectively, the picturesque vision provides wisdom that aides future generations. The value of the single leaf is why I research individuals of the past in the context of family, community, and social history.
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