by Joseph Yu
Today a church teen sent me a photo of a tree still with leaves on and asked me: "Why there are still all these leaves on the DECIDUOUS trees even though it is cold and snowing outside?" He knows about trees and their seasonal behaviour. But the 'sight' bugged him. My shortest answer is if it's an oak tree, for I learned from my Landscape Architecture Plant Materials class, their leaves stay on thru winter till next spring, especially the Pyramidal or Columnar Oak (Quercus robur 'Fastigiata'). But for an inquisitive church teen asking, I gave him a whole tree anatomy story. And he replied appreciating the information.
Today is also a day for me to remember the 'fallen' ... I also have these 'fallens' to remember for they have fulfilled their tours and duties, battling harsh wind, scorching sun and heavy rain, and time for 'earth to earth ashes to ashes dust to dust'. Let the images tell the story ... the green lawn overnight was replaced by a sea of yellow leaves from the deciduous Sunburst Honeylocust tree, plus some others blown onto our lawn, and after this morning's snow, they are 'buried' in white snow. Let them decompose and recharge the soil.
You heard of the term 'to turn a new leaf' meaning to make a behavioral change or a lifestyle change. The tree leaves shedding phenomenon and leaving no leave not fallen to me is like a 'baptism' - cleansed of all 'sins' - broken leaves, torn leaves, insect eaten leaves, disease infested leaves - and having a 'rebirth' and anew coming Spring. Nature has it's 'baptism' course and so can humanity, and it's through Jesus Christ - 1 John 1:7.