Thursday, November 12, 2009
Strands of gold
The trees outside my office window are devoid of leaves. Even our sugar maple finally gave up. It's brilliant yellow leaves turned brown and now cover the ground with an ankle-deep, brittle blanket.
No denying it. We're marching steadily toward the inevitable black and white of winter.
The only tree on our property still wearing fall color is our weeping willow. It, too, is losing leaves fast, but for now it glitters yellow in the sun. Having never had a willow tree before, I don't really know what constitutes a 'branch' or a 'leaf.' Is each long, weeping thread one leaf? With each leaflet part of a larger whole? Or are the threads branches in training and the leaflets true leaves?
The willow tree has been an ongoing source of thought-provoking lessons. I'll probably look up the answer to this leaf question sometime over the winter. When the landscape is black and white. I may even draw some larger life lesson from the answer.
Right now, I'm enjoying the idea that the willow tree looks as though it is dripping with strands of gold, each leaf a link in the multitude of chains that hang from the branches. So much jewelry on a human would be gaudy, an ostentatious display. On our willow tree, though, the display is a last colorful fall display carrying me into winter.