When I Think of the Trees…

Love me or leaf me

“When I Think of the Trees…”

This fall’s stunning color has touched me more deeply than any fall I can remember. At our cabin’s elevation in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the trees are usually bare by Halloween. This year, the most beautiful reds came after, standing out like bright flames against the evergreens and the few remaining yellows and browns.

Jim and I daily walk our two dogs down a mossy unused road above a rocky noisy creek. It has become our personal bit of heaven, banked by rhododendrons and wild blackberries on one side and shaded by Hemlocks, White Pines, and a variety of deciduous trees on the other. The road ends at a waterfall. Each season on this road produces unique colors, wildflowers, mushrooms, lichen, and ferns.

This fall, as we walked the road, we picked up leaves, creating beautiful bouquets that we shared and gradually released on the return walk. One of my too many art forms is mask-making. Stimulated by our surroundings, I made several masks that look like overlapping Maple leaves in the various autumn colors. I entered one in a show, but the juror preferred my peacock mask. No one agreed with him.

It is only now, at the middle of November, we can look up at a sky edged with a filigree of dark branches and find on the roadside only a few remaining reminders of the glory just passed.

One of my favorite quotes is from Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton. “When I think of the trees, I think of how gently they let go, let fall the riches of a season. How, without grief, it seems, they let go and move deep into their roots for renewal and sleep.”

The bare trees tend to make me introspective and melancholy. They also remind me that after “the sleep”, Spring will come again.

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