Written by Paul Landis Delaune
It was a week or two before Christmas 1997. I had been
a lot of “stuff” in my life and as a result I felt
from others and like I had no purpose. So one day around
I decided to get away from my desk and out of my apartment to
some time outside, which I love doing.
At the time, outside the apartment complex I lived in, the
was undergoing a lot of changes. A main street was being
a water retention lake was being dug and the mall down the
had been demolished with construction on a new shopping center
Things were a mess with the noise of construction vehicles and
as well as that of commuters, residents of the area, shoppers,
businesses, and community services. Besides that, there was an
jet taking off or landing at the nearby international
I proceeded through all this to the former mall area, finding a
to sit in the parking lot not far from the front of K-Mart.
I sat in my wheelchair in the sun, facing part of the demolished
two huge earth movers were in the process of picking up and
huge chunks of concrete in order, I guess, to break them into
pieces that would fit in the dump trucks removing debris from
area. To my right were other stores with people, cars and
going and coming, as well as reconstruction beginning to take
To my left was a restaurant with cars pulling in and out (the
was heavenly). Behind me was a main commuter artery with a traffic
at one of the entrances into the mall parking lot with other
beyond and all the noise of mid-day traffic. Near me were a
with singing birds while in the distance an airplane was
off or landing. Here I am sitting in the midst of this busy,
“chaos” and I close my eyes to meditate. What’s wrong with this
As chaotic as my life felt at that time, it seemed like the place
and here I felt comfortable and at peace. The first thing I
was that everything going on around me reflected what was going
ME. Around me, as well as in me, the pulse of life was flowing
there and ever onward. The demolition and construction going on
of me matched the changes going on within me—physically,
& spiritually—growth isn’t easy sometimes, especially when
know where all the changes in our lives are taking us.
The aromas from the restaurant reminded me of the fond memories I
eating there and of more fond experiences to come in my life.
singing birds in the trees reminded me of the music in my life
that “still, silent Voice” that I know is ever speaking to me,
I’m not sure what is being said.
Above all, I re-discovered my purpose in life is to love others and
it my way in my daily and weekly activities. To love. I like that.
wonderful purpose in life!
I also realized I’m not disconnected from others and the activities
on around me. Like the leaves of a tree, we are all connected in
are part of a wonderful, majestic creation. Picturing myself and
us as parts of God’s tree gives me a wonderful feeling inside.
I have come to a point where I often experience my connection with
in my activities. I admit, at times, I still feel disconnected
and life some, but knowing I’m one of many, many leaves on
tree helps me reacquire my focus. This is written to my many
leaves. Remember: we are all connected!