Monday, August 09, 2010

Falling leaves

Appropriate background music for this post would be the song "Autumn Leaves," which I used to have the piano sheet music for and which was playing in my head for the past few days as I watched the leaf drop in the front yard from the kitchen window.
We arrived here in the Spring of 1981, and over the next few years we began planting trees like crazy. Trees from the Arbor Day Foundation, tree bundles from the Missouri Department of Conservation, bundles of various species of pine trees from a local flooring mill. Some lived… some died.

Among the first trees we planted were cottonwood, and one lives on in our front yard. Had we paid more attention to the requirements of the tree we would have seen that they do better when they have a nearly constant supply of water, such as along a stream by a pond.

In every other way the tree has done well, but it is not a happy camper during the late summer.

As summer advances and we hit the normal droughty period in August, the tree begins to suffer and as a protective mechanism, its leaves turn yellow and they fall, and now the front yard is a carpet of dead leaves.

I have been thinking about this tree and what it does to survive hard times, wondering if there is a life lesson for us. One begins to assess what is really important -- really really important when there is a crisis. In the midst of a drought, leaves are a liability, so the tree gets rid of them. I wish it was that easy for us humans to figure out what we don't need to hold on to in the midst of our own stresses....

We have so many trees in our hard that turn color in the fall and drop their leaves that we don't bother too much about raking the lawn -- there is no way to keep up with it, but  we have been finding odd jobs for our son to do around the place in the mornings before it heats up too much. I think perhaps tracking down the leaf rake will be on the schedule this week.

1 comment:

Oklahoma Granny said...

There are surely many lessons from nature that we should all look for and learn from. From the way our momma bird took care of her young a few weeks ago to your falling leaves and many others in between.