I took this photo a few weeks ago, when I first noticed the leaves starting to change colour. In my personal calendar, this is always significant, a reminder that another year has gone by since the fateful day in 2010 that changed my world view forever.
This photo, taken a couple of days ago, is the same leaf now a richer shade, and still holding fast to its tree with no sign of dropping for a while yet:
Ever since I was a toddler, I've loved watching the leaves change colour, ending one season's growth. As autumn progresses and the leaves fall, I enjoy waiting to see how long the final few will hang on, defying the forces upon them. And every spring, I delight equally in looking for the first signs of new growth.
Somewhere in all of that I find cause for joy and celebration at my own continuing life, along with a measure of 'pause' as, in my own small way, I defy 'forces' and remain in the (decreasing) good part of the statistics for another year.
I've come a long way in the seven years since I was diagnosed with cancer on 23rd August 2010, I have much for which to be grateful, life continues to be good, and I'm still a NED. Perhaps I will yet prove to be one of the tenacious leaves that clings on into the winter - but whatever the future holds, I believe I am truly blessed.