Lessons from Trees

This morning I could feel an autumn crispness in the air. A little bit of an uncomfortable nip crept inside my clothes as I stood at the top of the back steps waiting for our dog to do her thing so I could go back inside. Autumn is really here. Finally! It’s mid-November. Most of the leaves that still dangle from the branches over our front porch maintain a bit of green. Not the pale new green of spring, but the faded and weathered, worn-out green off a long summer finally giving up. While I watched out the front door I heard those leaves rattling and rustling as though a storm blew through. Hundreds of leaves blasted straight down from the tree before scattering in every direction, Some blew north, some east and some blew straight south. I think it must have been some kind of a downdraft. No, there weren’t any helicopters overhead. I checked. Sometimes, I guess blessings are like that. So much at once that you don’t know what to do with them

I decided to finish a poem I started last fall. Five yellow leaves on my apple tree. Maybe one day I’ll get that poem finished. It didn’t happen today. That apple tree has dozens of yellow leaves now. It was taller than me when my son planted it a few years ago for Mother’s Day.  It towers over our porch now. How old are apple trees when they start producing? I’m betting it has as much to do with their surroundings as their age. They may never bear fruit in an inhospitable environment.

I grew an avocado tree from the pit from my friend’s lunch. Thanks, Meleia. This summer it grew a branch. That tree is so tall and spindly I have to keep it staked as it is much taller than it is strong. It would die if I left it outside during the winter, but it grows too fast in the house. If I measure the pot and tree it is close to 6′ tall. What on earth am I going to do with a hyper-needy avocado tree?  (Advice is welcome and encouraged!)

And then, there’s my Christmas Tree. Usually, I put my tree up during fall break in October. It is nearly Thanksgiving and I have no desire to mess with rearranging the living room to find a space for the tree. Is that a sign of depression or simply exhaustion? Maybe a sign that I need to learn to say, “No.” to other people’s projects. Hmmm. Maybe.

May you and yours be blessed on this Veterans’ Day.



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