The death of each of us is in the order of things; it follows life as surely as night follows day.  We can take the tree of life as a symbol.  The human race is the trunk and branches of this tree, and individual men and women are the leaves, which appear one season, flourish for a summer, and then die.  I too am like a leaf of this tree, and one day I shall be torn off by a storm, or simply decay and fall and mingle with the earth at it’s roots.  But, while I live, I am conscious of the tree’s flowing sap and steadfast strength.  When I die and fall the tree of life remains, nourished to some small degree by my life.  Millions of leaves have preceded me and millions will follow me; but the tree itself grows and endures.


Sir Herbert Read (adapted) (1893 – 1968)