Yesterday I noticed dramatic change in the color of the Autumn trees lining the two lane highway between Norman and Tecumseh. Last week the bright red Sumac tree caught my eye; yesterday it was the glorious orange foliage of one continuous stand of native Oak trees. In a week’s time, the sumac red had faded to a wallflower rust. I wonder how many more weeks will pass before this vintage of Sumac will cover the earth and lull the tree to rest.
Closer to home, our Chinese Pistache tree is turning orange, from the inside out. And the Shumard Red Oak is also beginning to ripen on its outer tips. But, as it does every year, the massive American Elm just across the street begins the Fall leaf parade on our street. To my surprise, last month it began dropping its yellow ticker tape leaves with autumn’s arrival. Yet still today, it’s covered with more yellow leaves to drop. I guess this American Elm likes to linger rather than bid a quick goodbye.
Not so with the Sycamores, which cover the width and length of our old neighborhood. Here and there, the tall Sycamores with their huge leaves are beginning to drop in mass. It’s almost like the leaves are green one day, and brown on the ground the next. The Sycamores remind me a lot of the autumn behavior of deciduous trees in south Texas — it’s a hurry up and be done with it — Fall in one fell swoop — an Autumn in a mad hatter rush like the Alice in Wonderland hare who is late for an important date.
I’m glad Oklahoma trees linger through the days of autumn before whispering their sweet goodnights. Just as I’m glad that Daddy is taking time to linger before falling into his winter sleep. Yesterday Daddy surprised me by pulling my head down close to his ear and whispering ever so slow and sure his ….I…..love….you.
No two ways about it, whether tree or human, lingering Falls produce priceless gifts to the senses.
Oh, my heart gave a twinge at those last two lines. Beautifully written. Goodnights are so hard for everyone, but you put it so well. Let all linger as long as they can until they are called home.~~Dee
Your images reminded me of something else – how comforting the cycle of the seasons is. Not every fall is identical, but knowing what to expect, knowing which tree will be red and which orange, wondering how the wonderful colors will vary – the predictability seems restful rather than boring.
It’s like watching the osprey come back each fall. Six of them arrived a while ago. Soon, one was atop the same mast, one on the post in the west harbor, one in the power pole, though one level down. They fly and call, and it’s as though the world is putting itself back together. We are perfect idiots, we humans, intent on tearing up and destroying, while the world goes on – and will go on long after our own sleep has begun.
It is soothing isn’t it? Extraordinary in the ordinary. So many lessons are offered in nature. And in God’s creatures.
Speaking of God’s creatures, Max is doing well. Thanks for the good wishes. Today Max passed another round of blood tests, and while not home free, at least Max has a new lease on life.
And maybe that’s what change does for us — as autumn releases us to winter, we are forced to live life in a new way. Each day new. On the surface it seems the same. But it’s not really. Each minute is new. We have a new lease on life every second.