- the act of cutting off; sudden termination.
- Botany. the normal separation of flowers, fruit, and leaves from plants.
Leaves change color in a glorious display for only a short time, only to fall to the ground, dead.
Trees lose their magnificent crown, drop their jewels, shed their shimmering coats, just before the onslaught of bitter, brutal cold, winter winds, and ice and snow. Why at that moment of time?
Leaf-glory shines brightest before Tree dies during autumn. It shines, then releases its treasure. Only a spindly skeleton remains for the long winter season.
Branches remain lifted upward like arms in praise. With a dark, cold season approaching, Tree surrenders bravely as it is stripped of its glorious coat of color and stands bare naked in the coldest months of the year.
The Leaf Maker’s leaves only last a season.
Yet trees laugh leaves, float in the wind, fall down to the ground. I catch a handful of laughter, toss it back in the air.
A hidden beauty sparkles in growing old and in death, revealed and witnessed through vibrant colors of burnt orange, flaming scarlet, deep gold, signaling mirth and hues of grace in an aging autumn.
I, too, am another year older, passing through another autumn, an unknown number of autumns remaining.
- growing old; aging.
- Cell Biology. (of a cell) no longer capable of dividing but still alive and metabolically active.
The Leaf Maker and Leaf Remover are one and the same. He who made the coat of leaves ensures it will not last. The Leaf-Coat Remover exemplifies the beauty of letting go, the wisdom of surrender, as the tree succumbs to the cold of winter without its luscious wrap of leaves. There is wisdom in letting go of regrets, false narratives, anger, the past, failures, mistakes, and beginning again.
There is beauty in letting go and wisdom in surrender.
Tree, another year older, yields to the process of time and change.
I, too, have seasons of loss, removal, and renewal.
I will soon see Tree, standing in the middle of winter like a stark, bare skeleton with spindly limbs. But only its leaves will have died. Tree remains alive and breathing, waiting for the time to bloom again.
Hidden jewels exist behind the coat, “great and unsearchable things,” words of life and wisdom and a peace that the Coat-Remover reveals after the false wrappings of this life are taken away. The dead falls to the ground, the lies, the superficial exterior, all transform, so truth can emerge.
In the whirlwind of life Tree is firmly planted. It may sway in the wind, but it won’t come out of the ground. Its roots are firmly established. The peace, the place of rest amidst seasons, the bitter winter, and the whirlwind of life, is found in Tree Maker: “Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Psalm 116:7. The leaves return to their place of rest.
The leaves return to their place of rest.
Abiding with Tree Maker develops deeper roots. Surviving the winter is part of the process, and surviving in the environment where planted is also part of the process. During one season, tree bears fruit, in another season, the seeds fall and lie dormant in the ground, but the seeds do not die in the winter. I am cultivating life, even in darkness, even in the long winters of life.
I am cultivating life, even in darkness, even during long winters.
The trees of autumn appear as aging trees, and through their changing colors, they show off their wisdom and knowledge, as if these are the crowning acts of their lives. But then their glory dies all too soon, and their colors fade and their leaves drop dead to the ground. Then the snow falls upon the bare tree. But that is not the end.
Beautiful Leaf, curling upward
Cupping droplets on its skin
I take my finger, wipe the drop
Leave a skirmish behind
The autumn Leaf, a heart,
Turned toward heaven
singing in its death
I wonder, Leaf,
how many songs you have sung?
I wrap myself in a coat of leaves
Stand under a sheltering tree
Sing with the wind
Go to the one who sings over me
Cup my hands, raise them—empty
Here they are, here am I
Water spills over my hands, overflows,
Slips through my fingers.
*definitions from dictionary.com
Photo credits: prasanta verma