Do the leaves hold on to the tree’s branches or is it the tree’s own doing when it comes to ultimately letting go? The leaves have completed their cycle. They were the first buds and sign of spring Opening into colorful blossoms. The blossoms became the green or dark hues Expressing the type of deciduous tree. All shapes and shades of green expanding toward the sky. Next there were the seeds. The future generation of trees were expelled down. Pinwheels of seeds helicoptered below The descent to bring forth descendants. Now that the seeds had done their work, The tree could finally show its true colors. The green transformed to bright oranges, reds and yellows. My oldest calls them the color of the setting sun. The strong autumn breezes help the trees Shed their leaves. And then they are bare, Ready to brace the cold of winter. No fragile blossoms to accidentally freeze. Just the tree and its roots Starkly standing in the white of snow. Forever patient. The cycle can’t be rushed or passed through Because it is nature’s own timing And the tree plays its part. The deciduous tree reminds me That all stages are important. One is not more special than the other. It is a seasonal reminder That life’s moments are brief. And there is beauty and a lesson to behold If I just take nature’s cue.
I circle around the sun Even though physically I have stayed and slept Within the same walls. It may appear to all my senses That I embody the same place Time and again. However, the sky tells a different story. In winter, the sun rises a bit more To the right in the eastern sky. Yes, daylight is short. But the minutes of sunshine Tack on to the days Even if I’m not paying attention. The world is quiet now. There is less bird song. Yet if I get quiet And listen, I can hear what the winter bird sings. I circle around the sun And have faith that Day will return After a long wintery night. I have faith that the season will change As it always does And is meant to. Further evidence that the journey Around the sun is Always in motion Never stagnant Never ceasing to surprise And delight. The momentum forward Is not always linear. But I have faith That I play a part In the great bird song today And the song that is not yet sung But is written on a paper airplane Caught in a breeze On its way To be heard and sung.
The deciduous tree does not appear as it once stood just one month ago. Its outstretched arms are glowing against the backdrop of the deep blue sky. Splotchy green with yellow or browned edges. Yet the mighty maple is just the sum of its many tiny parts. The branch reaches toward the sky on its solid trunk. A resting place for tiny buds that blossomed and burst into a big bold green. Seeds descended and dispersed. And now we get to see the leaves’ true colors. The deciduous tree does not get to choose when it’s time to blossom or seed. It is synched to the rhythm of nature beyond our concept of time. The seasons connect me and ground me in a world that always seems to be spinning faster and faster, Almost off-kilter Off balance. As the cycle of the season begins I’m suddenly reminded of the color, the beauty, the cycles of nature that surround me. Always there. A constant reminder that I, too, am a child of nature and connected to the timeless rhythms that surround me.
It is unusually warm today in the 50s in southern New England. The piles of snow from last week’s blizzard are starting to melt. Drops occasionally drip on my head from the historical buildings as I walk on by. The snow is dirty. Rain is in the near forecast. It’s gray and cloudy. Remnants of holiday cheer are strewn here and there: bits of broken pine and evergreen and a solo red ornament missing its hook lay on my path.
The snow is melting. I see the turf of green grass at the edge of a wall. There’s litter, a cigarette butt, and tiny pine needles reminding me of what once was there. It’s the kind of day that you wish you could curl up and take a nap or read a book. Rain is on its way.
Whenever I take a walk, I’m reminded that the simple act of walking clears up my mind and breaks up my workday. I will go back to my office and eat a cara cara orange, my favorite fruit this time of year. I’ll enjoy its bountiful juice and eat a piece of sunshine to brighten this dreary day.