I spend seconds, minutes, hours, days, watching leaves on our forest trees. Electric early-summer leaves in shades of velvet green and lime green and verdant green. Leaves fluttering. Leaves lying stock-still, not phased by any ruffling wind. Leaves kissed by sunlight. Leaves drenched in moonlight. Leaves blocking access to sky. Leaves of layered texture. Never-ending leaves.
Years ago, in my impatient youth, I witnessed 70-year old neighbors endlessly staring out the window at sparrows, chickadees, trees, rising sunflower plants as they fed me and the children Oreo cookies and milk and coffee.
How boring! I thought. How do they do it, hour after hour? What the heck of interest lies outside yonder window? I yearned for the excitement of, say, deep spiritual conversation and Native American sweat lodges and leaps into Lake Superior. None of this la-de-da window watching.
These days, finally, I’m getting it.
The appeal of watching leaves. The fascination with sensation, depth, color, fluttering. Tiny movement mirrored in my own body. The world revealing itself on a micro-level, full of itself, truly enough.
Why need we shop and shop and shop and buy and buy and buy and seek and seek and seek, attempting to give ourselves what we already possess, just outside yonder window? The leaves sing our treasure. The owl hoots our gift. Even the roaring four-wheeler in its cloud of dust offers pearls, if we’ve but ears to hear, a heart to fathom beyond what the mind wants to prematurely label in neat boxes of judgment and understanding.
I glean the edges of knowing the completeness outside the window, and then I forget. And then remember. And then forget.
See you the Green Man hidden in these leaves? He winked as I sat on the couch. His smile turned radiant, then fierce. He’s a little camera shy, I think, but perhaps some of you might glimpse his rain-dappled guardianship from his branched perch. Perhaps you must sit aside your own window, patiently, watching leaves dream, and then he shall come to you and you’ll see him vividly and you’ll know something you didn’t know before.
Keep looking out. You never know what you shall find. You might even discover yourself outside, soaking wet in precious rain, dancing with the Green Man. One never knows.