|Sunrise over the Three Sisters, Oregon, on April 12 (Orthodox Easter) from Spencer Butte, Eugene|
How fragile the body which ages. And yet also how strong. A lot of years turn beneath the atmosphere, amid the stress, engaged with tragedy and with beauty. These decades of inhaling sweet breezes, for those of us who receive decades, are long but limited. Every heartbeat is another tiny descent, another spending of the allotment. Ah, glorious transaction.
Green-yellow "chicklets" on the front maple have arrived again. Today crimson leaf-babies shine in the rain. Around the tree's girth lie piles of old gray ones, their bodies once having ridden high, now composting below, nourishing fruit and flower.
Though so familiar, each fresh leaf is unique, distinct; only the process repeats itself. In nature, in creation, there are no reused entities. "My" maple will someday join its leaves in repose, and there won't be a copy saved, but the essence of treeness will continue.
Yet what is man? In "his" essence, in humanity, a unique twig and leafkin comes to be, to exist and to flower, and sometimes to undergo surgery. There is more in each human being than meets the eye. More, I believe, than sense can apprehend, and so the day of reposing in "sleep" will have more to it, as well. It's unknowable right now, a mystery past understanding, but it awaits this withering leaf. I tend to be one pondering such things.