I’m sure most of us are spending time doing things which have come to be habits and which weren’t habits before the pandemic. I spend a lot more time sitting on our deck (3rd floor of a town home) and so I watch the trees grow and fade with time. A little more specifically, I guess I pay attention to the growth and fading of the leaves.

I’ve always liked paying attention to them, even in pre-pandemic times. Some of that comes from a childhood with a lot of time spent being outside ‘in the weeds’ as we would say. I was also quite addicted to Tolkein and he certainly paid attention to trees and the land throughout his stories. Trees and landscapes would literally be figures.

There are two trees which come very close to our deck. One is a Gingko and one is a deciduous of a type I’m not sure – a Basswood? It’s odd in that it has leaves whose stems come from the center of the leaf rather than an apex. As I’ve written before, the end of summer brings colors which show the Basswood having aged to a dark and dry green while the Gingko stays closer to its bright, light green throughout the summer. Now as October readies most trees to fade and drop, the Basswood has turned a yellowish which reminds me of some ripe pears. The ones which are a pale green when not ripe and fade to the yellow as they go soft and then too soft.

I was pondering the Basswood yesterday and how the leaves are always ultimately connected to one another as in a connected graph and it comes to my mind that clusters of leaves form a community and I realize that I come to think of the leaves as denizens and the bulk of the tree as that which connect them. I know that the whole is the real thing, so why do I give an identity to the most ephemeral part of it?

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