The Process of Abscission

Leaf Loss / Bare Bones / Blue Sky

This ash tree started out in 1985 in a five-gallon pot as a housewarming gift. As soon as the leaves begin to drop–in just a day or two– the branches will become bare and I’ll have a LOT of raking to do.

Abscission is the reason why leaves fall. Scientists believe that a reduction in sunlight leads to the reduction of chlorophyll in the leaf due to a reduction in photosynthesis and this may trigger the abscission of leaves. The actual process occurs when the weaker cells near the petiole are pushed off by the stronger cells beneath them.

I’m sure there’s an analogy or parallel to my LIFE but I’ve had a tough week and I’m tired of thinking and not able to direct my brain to untangle the profundities because right now all I want to do is quietly savor the stark, elegantly naked branches.

It reminds me of my little vase of twigs and another example of ma. (https://enchantedseashells.com/2020/10/25/ma-the-space-between-things/)

As pretty as it is all dressed in green, the artistry of bare bone branches are stunning in their strength of simplicity,

I see the graceful arms of a dancer against a backdrop of the bluest sky of the year.

  • – Coco Chanel: “Simplicity is the final achievement.Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” …
  • – Frederic Chopin: “Nature is pleased with simplicity”. …
  • – Isaac Newton: “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.These three are your greatest treasure” …
  • – Lao Tzu: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Goodbye, Tree

A while back I wrote about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and I’m guessing I could also call this post “A Tree Dies in SoCal”

Usually the loss of a tree I’ve lived with and loved for years feels like how I imagine a phantom limb might feel- a certain emptiness, a vacant unfillable void–like mourning the loss of a loved one, but this was different.

It actually feels lighter; freer–all in all a good decision that I had procrastinated about for years because I hate to destroy any living creature or growing thing.

The first cut is the deepest–I know those are song lyrics, but there’s a point you can’t go back, when the decision to cut down a tree is beyond the point of changing your mind. Too late to say WAIT, let me rethink things! You can always plant a new tree, right? Replace the old tree with a new one, right?

This was a ficus. I know ficus trees have invasive roots, I know they are much better as potted plants, but I seriously had thought this one was situated far enough away from the house so that it wouldn’t become a problem.

Then I looked under the deck and saw roots, which meant that it would only be a matter of time before there could be real damage to either the foundation or the plumbing.

It’s gone now, and I really don’t miss it at all. I’m thinking about what to plant as the empty space looks a little barren.

Maybe a fruit tree or two? Something that’s a bit more giving than the ficus which was definitely NOT an example of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree–more like the TAKING tree, sucking all the life out of the plants around it and leaving a mess to clean up.

I feel as if I most deserving of some reciprocal quid pro quo in return for all my love and nurturing and caretaking.