Yesterday, Bernie commented on “Nature Will Always Have Its Way“, “The sound of the leaves has changed and the crickets are silent.”
When I read her comment, I felt something shift deep inside me. Like a recognition, a knowing, a sense of wonder and awe opening up.
The sounds of the leaves have changed.
Later, when I walked in the forest, I stood surrounded by the remains of summer clinging in changing colours to branches and listened deeply to the whispering of the leaves.
Their song is crinkly now. Drier. Like a thousand whispered prayers breathed into the sheer, lacey veils covering the faces of kneeling supplicants at the altar of life.
“Thank you summer, for your warmth and beauty,” they whisper. “Thank you for the heat that encouraged our roots to release its sap. For the warm showers that fed every vein of our being here, standing together in this forest, where we offer shade in the heat and beauty throughout the seasons. For the breezes that blew away all memory of winter’s frost and spring’s slow awkward tendrils. Thank you for being part of our ever-turning story.”
It was a real page turner, the leaves seem to whisper. This summer of Covid. Of uncertainty. Of constant change. Of fires sweeping across vast tracts of land. Of floods and hurricanes and rain pouring down.
Do the trees weep for their burned out comrades? Do their roots ache in sympathy of the dying embers of the skeletal remains of their compatriots who lost their lives to the scorching flames?
I stand beneath the trees and feel my heartbeat slow. My breath becomes deeper. My eyes close and I welcome into my body the song of the autumn kissed trees.
Their song is full of memory. Of connection. Of stories carried by the wind. Of birdsong and chattering squirrels.
Soon, there will be but a few skeletal remains of summer tenanciously clinging to the branches.
Soon, the song of the trees will become more weathered, more seasoned and weary. Their limbs wil stretch out, stark and naked against the winter sky. Their song will be heard in creaking trunks and sighing limbs swaying with the cold air rushing in from the north.
Do trees shiver in Arctic blasts?
Do they feel the sting of frost nipping at their limbs?
Perhaps they are more accustomed to weathering the storms than we humans. Perhaps they trust that the seasons will turn and what once was winter will become spring. Perhaps, in falling leaves they have learned to accept the cycle of life is an unending, constant circle of rebirth.
Their song sounds crinkly to me now, as if their veins are contracting in preparation of The Great Fall.
And I wonder… if I had no sight, if all I could do was hear the seasons turning, would I know it was Autumn by the song of the trees?
I hope so.
Thank you Bernie for your comment and the inspiration to wander in wonder amidst the trees listening deeply to their Autumnal song.