Life begins as a sprig of a thing on a branch. A tiny bud, hearty and tightly closed, appears mystically and magically on a brown branch. Slowly, as the sun and rain begin to vitalize the bud, gingerly the cocoon opens, and springs forth tiny leaves. Each leaf has a venous system of sorts, where the nutrients of the soil seep into the life of the leaf. If, for no other reason, this leaf has a purpose. It must emerge from the bud state, and add multi-hued color to the paleness of the brown; branches, twigs and trunk.
Through the cold of winter, the bud is dormant, just underneath the skin of the twig. By a miracle, the leaf bud appears in spring, and begins the task of growing, and then with a sudden burst, appears as a delicate green set of wings on the dull and drab branch.
The leaf is now firmly planted to the host tree, anchored to its' life source. The leaf provides beauty, and the sound of the wind is amplified by its presence. Could this be God's whisper? Do we know how to listen to the sound of God? Throughout spring, the little leaf grows. Its' task will be shade eventually.
By late May, the delicate nature of spring is cast off to longer days, filled with warmth as summer dawns the horizon. Days of length and heat give the leaf its' human purpose. Shade. A large oak or elm in a backyard, filled with children, families or the popular swing, all benefit from the leaf and its' continued presence. Ah, shade. There is nothing more pleasing to the senses then sitting under neath a shade tree on a hot summer day, and catching sun rays as they shoot from between the canopy of leaves. Dreams can be had for those who allow the day to whittle by, while under the comfort of an old elm in a field. Lovers can sway back and forth upon a wooden benched swing, with heavy twined rope support, and grab a kiss from their lover. Children can skinny up the trunk of a full leaf tree, and escape their troubles; hidden deep in the disguise of the leaf festival.
As summer is ebbed out by crisp morning temperatures, the leaf slowly begins its' slumber. The once brilliant emerald greens and sun kissed golds fade, and fall creeps into the world. The winds of the season stir and with the drop of temperature, the leaves then begin a morphing into a palette of hearty earthen tones. Brilliant reds, hot to sight, golds of the mighty Midas, yellows like a ray of sunshine, browns, oranges and greens still prevail, but it makes for a kaleidoscope of adventure into an artists' mind. The artist of course is none other than God. He simply dabbles his creative brush a bit against a brilliant blue sky, and a masterpiece of color explodes across fields afar. The rustling of leaves bring harmonious melodies as fall creeps in.
As each leaf breaks free from its' branch anchor, the leaf tumbles and spirals downwards to the velvet grass below. The crunch of children running through the leaves fills a fall day. Fathers gather the leaves into piles, and children are allowed to romp in the hearty and plump mattresses of the leaf body. Imagination of fierce dragon leaf piles and children slaying those fairy tailed creatures, comes to any child willing to soar towards adventures. This is what dreams are made of.
Then just as the season of fall takes its' leave, the leaf prepares its final journey. Mulch for the soil, and reward for its' master, the tree. Every ounce of love and life that the mighty leaf gained by its' life from the tree is returned to its' earthly body ten-fold. Snow falls from the heavens, and blankets the roots of the mighty tree, now revitalized by the nourishment of the leaf. Throughout the long, cold and arduous winter season, the tree is protected by the leaf spirit.
Finally the cycle of life begins again, as on one late March morning, a tiny little bud appears on a knobby branch - thus the journey of the leaf begins again.
**This is dedicated to the trees in my old backyard that brought me so much joy as a child. I could climb you, way up high, escape from my life, and for a moment, be cradled by your love, unconditionally. Thank you! ****