Tag: trees

Leaf does not yield to autumn

Leaf does not yield to autumn

A splash of green shields the grey limbs of a fig tree. A swath of clouds holds back rain, the better to wonder at this display of colour in the muted light.

Each leaf, on each tree, lives by nature’s clock. Leaf takes its cues from early days of late winter’s bud, to tender shoot in spring and full maturity in summer. Its tenacity remains evident now, with so much green and just a touch of yellow at the tips. It must be resolute, and lucky, or it will snap off before its life is fully lived.

This will not prevent its death. One day, with luck, yellow-orange will suffuse the leaf, tree will renounce its hold, and leaf will quit the tree. Fallen, it will decompose into nutrients and return to the soil and nourish new growth.

But not yet.

Thank you, leaf, for holding my attention when it started to wander, for long enough to make me pause. May you live long enough for your burnished colours to reveal themselves in their gentle splendour, their quietude.

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Paper birch

Paper birch

Once upon a time, I saw a birch in fall and grief hit me like a truck: its naked branches, white paper bark, the barren black and white. Stark and doomed.

But then. How is it for birch to discharge its leaves every fall?

It prepares for rest in the aftermath of summer, a fruitful season of creating energy stores for winter and releasing oxygen for life.

And today, it’s this that eases the momentary whirlwind, that quiets the mind: the particular slate of sky that acts as canvas to birch’s innumerable branches, and the branches themselves, fanned out and bare except for a few stubborn leaves at the tips.

They rest with arms raised, released under the cooler and darker days of autumn. Leaves gone, branches are lighter and freer to touch the sky, to sway with the wind, to feel the rain.

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