Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Life Goes On, Bla! (Beatles)

I've been watching one leaf---one brown and curled and brittle oak leaf that clings alone to its branch long after the others of its generation dropped away. After my posts of last Nov 4 & 6, in which I pondered the significance of the life cycle of just one leaf relative to the millions of leaves that live and die and return to the earth in season, I began to wonder about the exact moment any leaf lets go of its parent branch to take the only and fatal ride of its life. Is it the relative health of a leaf that determines when it falls? Is it random chance? Is it the angle at which it hangs against the wind? Is it the time lapsed since it emerged? How do some leaves manage to cling to their branches long after others have let go? Does the leaf let go, or does the parent tree force it off?

The huge oak tree in question does not dispense its dry leaves at once, or even within a week or two weeks, but lets them drop in a gradual trickle throughout the winter. Many of its leaves can and do endure high winds, cold rain, and hard freezes. Each storm brings down more leaves, and fewer remain on the tree, yet remain they do, all winter.

Noticing this, I became curious to discover which would be the very last leaf to fall. By March, when only a few single leaves were left on the tree, I began to check daily on the one that hung nearest my observation point on the deck. Now, in early April, life goes on. New leaf buds have swollen, opened, grown to the size of a racoon's hand, and darkened from lime to green, nearly hiding last year's brown leaf of choice. Still it hangs. Still it spins. Still it does not let go. This is one tenacious leaf. dkm


Roland D. Yeomans said...

I found your thoughtful blog when I was reading the comments to WOOL N' NUTS {I've always wanted to visit New Zealand.} I hope you don't mind a cyber-pilgrim dropping by.

Your leaf analogy to the stuggle of we humans holding onto life is one I had not thought of before. What internal processes keep one human valiantly surviving, when another succumbs under much less trauma?

If it is not against cyber-manners, may I ask you to look in on my post about my travels along one of the last great wildernesses in America, the Creole Nature Trail, as I was delivering rare blood to the solitary hospital there.

It was delightful to share this cyber chat with you this Sunday. May this new week be surprisingly happy for you, Roland

dkm said...

Welcome and thanks for joining my blog. I tried to check out your blog post above, but got message saying the page did not exist.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Sorry about that. If you have the time for it, check this link out, it worked for me.

It's not the Creole Nature Trail but about memory and what makes us decide to do what we do. Sorta links with your latest post.

Thanks for the welcome and the graciousness, Roland

dkm said...

Absolutely---so now I'm following your blog---and commented on the Creole post at your site.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks for dropping in, Deb. I'm glad you enjoyed sharing the cyber-drive down the Creole Nature Trail with me.

I envy you going on that retreat. And if you see Hibbs, you'll find him great company -- for a bear.

Enjoy your retreat. Stay safe, Roland

dkm said...

Roland, I got nervous after your post today about adults being alone, that it was not smart of me to be so trusting in an earlier comment about a writing retreat, so have deleted that comment from the future public eye---however---though I think anyone who hates slavery and stops on an isolated road to help a turtle cross must be trustworthy---to be on the safe side, I'm compelled to inform you (and anyone who has already read the now-deleted comment) that I have notified neighbors and the police department to be watchful of the place where I will be retreating. I'm sorry that today's world requires such a seemingly rude precaution.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I meant adults are alone in an existential sense, Deb. There is a Great Divide in our souls versus our culture. Who we want to be versus what our situation seemingly would have us be. I would no more do you harm than I would harm a kitten.

But both men and women are wise to mind their surroundings, to evaluate their words prior to talking or internet writing, and to always have an exit stragedy and people who know where we are. I am your friend, Deb. But a woman has to be careful in these heartless days. I understand. Stay aware.

You are in my prayers. And I pray The Father guard you as David guarded his flock. Your true friend, Roland

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