Wednesday, November 01, 2006

artistic leaves

i like beauty. i need it. my soul needs it. and -- when i live in a city composed largely of big blocks of cement .. i have to look for it. recently i've been enjoying the fall leaves. the colors, the shapes, the sizes (i've seen some that are bigger than my two hands together!), and the sound they make when they're dry and i walk on them. that's the sound of autumn!

of course, God keeps teaching me things. so the leaves have become highly symbolic. and i've been collecting them left and right. and pressing them flat under my large journal so they don't break and crumble on me. at least not as fast. and today i took about an hour to be artistic -- with black construction paper, lots of collected leaves, and my camera. took a few pictures (actually .. about 60..) and really enjoyed myself. finding beauty in the 'mundane' and capturing some of it too! i took this one on the left all by myself!

notice all the colors of the leaves? nerd that i am, with all this thinking about leaves and autumn and death .. i did some searching online to find out what is behind leaves changing color. and here are some interesting facts (at least for me!) ...
-- trees can tell the seasons are changing because the daylight period gets shorter
-- trees prepare for dormancy, and take all the nutrients from leaves back into trunk and roots
-- without daylight, less chlorophyll (which causes the green in leaves) is produced
-- other colors (yellows, oranges, browns, and reds if there's lots of sunlight) which have been present the whole time can be seen more clearly
-- instead of making chlorophyll, plants make sugars and amino acids that serve as a sort of antifreeze to get them alive through the winter

now the spiritual dimension. seasons are a normal part of life. and we often savor the amazing colors of fall and the leaves. but -- they fall off because they died. the tree had to lose them to stay alive and healthy (otherwise the tree might not make it through the winter with its resources spread too thinly). in our own lives we don't celebrate loss or death. not that i'm saying we shouldn't mourn, but maybe there is also something to rejoice over? the leaves are beautiful! they are part of the tree but the tree is still there and solid. in the spring new growth will have particular places to start. as humans we can only do so many things. and sometimes that means we can only do one or two things really well. other things must 'die' or 'be lost' -- and in God's time they might return with new life and energy. sometimes our dreams have to be given to God and set aside so we can concentrate on being 'the Beloved' of God and not on accomplishing and doing -- but just being with our Daddy.


Larq said...

Beautiful leaves! Those colors are amazing. I'd love to see some more of your leaf photos.

Shelly said...

Abi-ru! Guess what I found at the library today? A cd called "Shukar Collective: urban gypsy." I'm listening to it right now, and boy, is it crazy and fun! Apparently this genre, "was born in Romania from the meeting of new generation musicians with the gypsy traditions of Shukar founders... Shukar play usari music using spoons, wooden barrels, or darabouka to create a powerful and urgent sound that is at the same time emotional and soulful." One of the main musicians plays a wooden barrel by hitting it with his foot and stones -- what?! How cool is that! I think you need to check out their website and get yo' groove on!

Janice said...

Really cool. I went on a leaf and scenery photography spree last weekend. I should send you some of the pics. ;)

John said...

Jude & I got to see the turning of the leaves in NJ!!!! Yeah!!!!