Within a Budding Grove
Spring is here and trees are budding. Leaves are poised to burst forth in an array of forms and symmetries: oval, triangular, heart-shaped, elongated, fan-like, ribbed, lobed, smooth-edged, saw-toothed, waxy, ridged; positioned opposite one another on stems, alternating, in clusters, singular, compounded. Flowers, seeds, spores, and fruits soon will emanate, stirring the attention of insects, birds, mammals, aides in the reproductive cycle, an orgiastic bounty on the cusp of emergence.
Okay, you knew that. It's April; it's "spring". But did you notice it? Knowing and noticing -- the former intellectual, inside our heads, and the latter coming from observation and awareness, from paying attention to what is around us.
Take time over the next few days to notice the curled, consolidated packages dotting the branches of trees in your surroundings. Think for a moment about their potential, what will unfurl and unfold, how each leaf embodies the capacity to convert carbon dioxide and sunlight to energy and oxygen, absorbing the carbon dioxide we exhale, creating the oxygen we inhale, a paramount example of human-flora symbiosis experienced in every breath we take over 20,000 times a day. Leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds will emerge, summoning birds and insects, stirring them into activity and their own cycles of life. Cycles overlapping cycles.
And, with vibrant colors of flora about to burst forth, think about those long winter months of apparent dormancy. But how dormant was it really? Though not visible to us, action was taking place underground, through a root system as expansive as the tree's crown, gathering moisture and nutrients to enable growth and development. All of this was happening beneath the sidewalks and streets, structures that encrust our surroundings and separate our bodies from touching raw earth, but really are negligible lamina on the broad scale of the powerful forces of life.
Spring is here. Take notice.
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About this Blog
Hi! I'm Nancy Kopans, founder of Urban Edge Forest Therapy. Join me on an adventure to discover creative ways to connect with nature in your daily life, ways that are inspired by urban surroundings that can reveal unexpected beauty, with the potential to ignite a sense of wonder.