Living in the Northeast I’m aware of how the change of seasons affects trees. Even the most inattentive person living in the northeast cannot ignore the brilliance of fall. The fall foliage in the northeast can be rather pugnacious; it comes right up, lifts up our eyelids and challenges us to look away.
During the past few years, however, I’ve come to understand that even though trees scream at us in the fall, they talk to us more quietly all year long. I learned this by driving up and down the Northway into the Adirondack Mountains and home again.
During the spring months, April, May, early June, the trees are stretching, standing taller, sprouting leaves, but I can still see through the branches because their leaves are small and sparse. I feel a wonderful sense of what’s to come, the freedom of throwing off the sweaters and heavy coats, the gloves and wool hats. I sense the freedom of longer, warmer days just ahead. I feel the excitement and anticipation of opening my little place in the Adirondacks; spending late afternoons floating in the pond and watching the clouds drift by.
Driving north in August I begin to feel some trepidation. The trees begin to look a bit limp, there’s a crispness about them. Most are still green, although a few have begun to turn red. The trees are telling me it’s still summer but I should start thinking about where I threw my heavy coat and wool hat.
Today, on this hot and humid July morning as I drove into work, I noticed the trees were talking again. Today the trees are full of themselves. They are bursting with seeds and fruit. They are standing tall and allowing the gentle morning breeze to dance between their branches. That’s when it dawned on me.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase, “enjoy the moment.” But, I can tell you every time I’ve heard it I’ve agreed wholeheartedly and vowed to live my life that way even though it’s a true challenge for this pragmatic Virgo.
That’s what the trees told me this morning, "enjoy the moment." Don’t look back at how we were in the spring and don’t look forward to how we will be in August. Enjoy us today; celebrate this wonderful mid-summer with us.
(Of course, the pragmatic Virgo in me realized the temperature will rise into the 90s again today and wondered if it would be okay to enjoy this wonderful mid-summer day from inside an airconditioned room.)