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On the Impermanence (and death) of Things

RWC Tutor Daniela Gutierrez philosophizes about living in the moment.

Dear Reader,

As you come across this short article or look past it, the month of October will long be a memory of the past. All the conversations we have had, the parcels of food we’ve enjoyed, and all the sights we have seen, as usual as they may seem, will be long gone. As I type this, the same thought will cross my mind every morning since I discovered in Kindergarten that with a turn of the season, trees’ leaves change.

As I enthusiastically wait for the world to transform into an Autumn wonderland where every step I take, a leaf crunches under my feet and every sight to behold is tinged with the apricot sweetness of orange, the all-too-familiar-words cross my mind: nothing gold can stay. In the Fall of 1923, Robert Frost, a beloved American poet, published one of his most recognized poems, in which he contemplates the impermanence of one’s existence and the world around oneself. Frost states, “Then, leaf subsides to leaf so Eden sank to grief, so Dawn goes down to day, Nothing gold can stay.”

The burdens of life have become lighter once I realized the impermanence of one’s existence. I repeat to myself: only here for a little while, only here for a little while. This hauntingly beautiful truth brings peace and perspective. No Winter, Spring, Summer, nor Autumn is like the other even as they appear to be so. Something dies every season, but with it, something new is reborn.

By now, we have bid our farewell to October and the woes and joys of November will come as we near the end of the Fall semester. As you sit around surrounded by your loved ones this Thanksgiving, as simple as it may be, it is unlike any other. Only one question remains:

Did the leaves of trees now have turned a golden or scarlet, yet?

Yours forevermore,

Daniela Gutierrez

A fellow RWC Tutor

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