As 2018 ends and I reflect upon my first year living in Atlanta, I don’t think about all of the things I’ve done but all the things I haven’t done. There are plenty of things I should have done when I first arrived; one of those a visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. I live a short walk away, yet this past week was my first time there.

I am always amazed by the grandeur of nature and the life it brings. But, going to the botanical garden this fall made me realize how beautiful death is. In one of my fullest years of life, I can find myself appreciating an ending to a time well spent on earth. For me, it is very brave to think about death this way. It frightens me — but by realizing it through the leaves of the trees and the branches they hang on, I can digest the idea with more ease.