The Futility of Trees

In case you haven’t been near a Starbucks, I’d like to officially announce:

It’s fall.

Leaves are tumbling, being raked into piles and trees are generally shedding their weight for winter.

But you know what gets me about trees?

They spend their whole life growing. And then they deposit their seeds, their acorns, their tiny helicopter pods. Not knowing where they’re going. Not knowing if they’ll grow up to be trees too. Not knowing even if they’ll land on the ground instead of in some squirrel’s stomach.

But they do it anyway. They drop their seeds anyway. With only hope keeping them alight.

It’s hard to live with hope only. But I️ promise, that if you put some faith into your hope, you will grow no matter where you’re planted.

So drop your seeds where they may fall and reach for the sky.

Change Happens

Listen. I’m excited for pumpkin lattes, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin pumpkins (aka fall) as much as the next girl on social media. But does anyone else have the strange sense that we were just eating hotdogs and watching fireworks at our Fourth of July celebrations a couple of days ago? I mean, where did the summer go? It’s like I remember a long heat wave and then it all just goes blank…

And it’s in this strange amnesia that I walk around and notice that people are talking about how they can’t wait for it to be cold, and how they can already feel the crunch of leaves underfoot. (Underfeet??) And still, I’m all like, hold up! We have almost an entire month until that all happens. Why are you showing summer the door when she’s been (relatively) kind to you?

And alright, I admit it, I’m just not ready. I’m not ready for apple cider, and seeing my own breath, and mittens, and trees that look like they’ve been lit on fire, and trying desperately (but failing) to come up with a Halloween costume that doubles as social commentary. I was pretty sure that I could fight against the fall tide for a while, just a couple more weeks.

Until I saw it driving home the other day.

“It” was a small tree, maybe a few years post-sapling, standing quite proudly on the exit ramp. One little corner of her leaves had turned completely red and gold while the rest stayed as verdant as they had been in spring. It was like she was just a tiny bit embarrassed and had just started to blush.

And I thought, Not you too! It’s not even cold! 

But it made me realize something very quickly: change happens. No, really. You may not be ready for it. You may not even think that it should be happening. I surely didn’t think it was time for the leaves on the trees to start changing colors. But there it was, inarguable and steadfast, truly defying whatever internal clock I had been synced to. Change happens, whether you are ready or not. Whether you think it should or not. Whether you want it to or not. Even for that little tree. And especially for you.

So, whether it’s a change in the weather or a change in your life, you need to remember that change is inevitable. But whether you embrace it or resist it will always be up to you.

Bursting All Over

My house is always a sight for sore eyes when I’ve had a long day.

But now that it is spring, all of my mother’s green thumb handiwork looks especially beautiful. (Even though my eyes literally get sore from all of the allergies.) The tulips that stand so tall, their heads bobbing in the breeze. The pansies, huddled and colored together, their little faces turned to the sun. Then there’s the lavender bush with its symmetrical kisses of blossoms whose scent hangs lazily in the humid air. Everything has been waiting so patiently to pop and now that it has happened, it’s as if they couldn’t wait any longer.

Then there’s the redbuds. In great spirals, the pinkish reddish buds climb the branches, grasping bits of sky. From young saplings to sprawling trees, their display becomes more and more beautiful every year.

Of course, they’re pretty trees. And yes, they add some interest to an otherwise normal front lawn. Sure, they offer plenty of shade.

Yet, I never noticed something about them before tonight. When I was walking up to my house, I happened to pass very close to the nearest, lowest branch. I found that instead of shooting out leaves and blossoms in one cluster, the redbud grows flowers everywhere. Even on a long stretch of bark, small little groupings of buds burst out. Just a random crop here and there, wherever it feels like it.

Besides being incredibly adorable because it looks like the tree simply couldn’t contain itself, it is a perfect reminder for us all to look for beauty where you wouldn’t necessarily find it. In order to do that though, you have to start with yourself.

It doesn’t matter how you are supposed to look or be. Growth can be messy. Sometimes it can mean that you change in places you least expect. Sometimes it means that you change all over and become completely unrecognizable. And even sometimes still, you’ll surprise people by changing in leaps and bounds, like my entire yard did. But you’ll just have to trust that the end result will be beautiful, as it is every spring.