There are 3 trees and a daisy bush that I watch from my back stoop. They teach me about life. (pause)
I’ve been watching them lose their leaves and wondering what they must be thinking.
Why are you leaving me?
Oh my God, what’s happening?!
No! No! Please! That one is my favorite!
He’s my best friend!
Why isn’t anyone helping me?
Then humans come in and cut off branches completely out of their control and haul off their leaves on the ground.
It’s much like our lives. And it happens in seasons. But do they know? Do they understand? Is the tree freaked out by this major loss or does it understand what is happening, why? Is there an innate acceptance that this is what is and any attempts to stop it are futile?
Each of the trees is in a different stage of unleafing. I wonder if they compare themselves to one another and feel jealous or proud.
Why does HE still have leaves?
Haha! Sucker. I have more than YOU do.
You all lose. I’m leafless first.
What do they think of the nonshedding trees? Is there grief over the loss? It got me thinking about the cycle of grief.
Life has cycles, like trees, but not Kubler-Ross’s five cycles. I believe there are four, matched to the seasons. Love (summer), Loss (fall), Grief (winter), and Acceptance (spring). They can change at any time for any reason but in my life they tend to go in this order.
Love (intense feeling) could be a person, a project, an idea or ideal. Loss (involuntary action) is its fall from dream-state, it’s emerging reality of flaws or its actual loss. Grief (reaction) is the processing of loss, reaction to a lack of control, and reassessment of who we are without this and why we are still here. And Acceptance is the freedom to move on openly knowing we will lose again but embracing the moment anyway.
Some days I look in the mirror and am surprised at my leaf count. I thought there were 3 left. I was sure of it. But today they are gone. And it’s cold. And the daisy bush is dead. I know just on the outside but that is all I see.
What are your tree seasons?
© Michelle Routhieaux 2011
Beautiful, sad, and true.