I’m lucky, I guess. I live on a street full of conifers so my rake stays pretty quiet in the fall. But there are a couple of deciduous trees that turn color on my property - a pretty vine maple with flaming orange leaves, and a cherry tree with crimson foliage. They add that touch of magic to the yard that charms my eyes.
But I can’t quite understand why one tree drops leaves sooner than another.
In August, all the tree leaves are green and yet by mid-November the trees are bare. My guess is that each tree has its own internal clock and rhythm that triggers the change.
Now as I’ve shared before, biology was always one of my favorite subjects – and that includes the study of trees. But for curiosity’s sake, I decided to check out what I remembered about deciduous trees and why their leaves change color.
Source: Science Made Simple: http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/leaves.html
As summer ends the days get shorter and the trees "know" to begin getting ready for winter. During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. Small amounts of the orange and red colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can't see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll. There is also a process that enables them to lose their leaves, so they can conserve moisture and reduce the amount of energy they must consume to stay alive.
This science and “wisdom” of nature is pretty amazing. It sure makes sense… a time of growth and a time of rest to conserve energy. Each deciduous tree listening and honoring nature's cues.
Of course that got me thinking about whether people take the time to listen internally and externally for cues that intuitively signify a time of change. Isn’t that an important trait of conscientious leaders?
We need to remember that like trees, each of us has our own time table for change.
Each of us may have a different time of respite and reflection versus a time of active and energetic pursuit of growth. There is an ebb and flow. For Type "A" personalities like myself, perhaps I need to honor the lesson of nature and give myself permission to rest…like my friends the maples.
And perhaps this will create more calm and peace in preparation for another season.
What about you?
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