"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

That leaf… this life

By on December 28, 2016 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

The leaf that made Phil Cibicki's day

By Phil Cibicki

My best day this year suddenly came along only a few weeks ago. It was Oct. 21, 2016.

That day, I chose to take a short walk through downtown Wenatchee. In fact, I had been consistently doing this for the past five days or so.

In any case, the autumn air felt quite crisp, as wisps of wet smoke curled out from under my cracked lips. My hands shivered ever so slightly; my fingertips felt more like gnarled icicles, rather than warm tendrils.

During my frosty walk, I came across this vivid crimson maple-like leaf. Simply put, this is what made my day… and what eventually made my year.

As I studied such intricate beauty with such careful fascination, I began to realize that this leaf symbolized where I was currently in my own life.

For one, I noticed the inky mottling that surrounded the edges of that leaf. Its darkness reminded me of the depressive abyss I had been in only weeks before, for nearly the past year.

Because those black spots were just along the perimeter of that leaf, they also reassured me that my depressive episode was finally subsiding.

This dissipating “monochromacy” gave way to what captured most of my attention… and really, my heart: the charming color of full-blown crimson. Wow.

As I felt my heart begin beating faster with excitement, I knew that the utter scarlet of that leaf represented the life that had been recently breathed back into me. Wow again.

My heart skipped a beat and I almost dropped the leaf in pure elation.

For the next few minutes, I just held that leaf and truly felt this life course throughout me, just like the veins that were embedded within that leaf. What a moment it was. What a day it was. And what a year it was.

I will never forget any of it… this really is the good life.

Phil Cibicki is 31 years old and has lived with recurrent major depression for the past 17 years of his life. Today, he enjoys his work indoors at American Shoe Shop and his play outdoors by backpacking, mountain biking and skiing.

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