We have a large mulberry tree growing in the middle of the garden. It’s huge leaves make a perfect canopy to shade you from the glare of the summer sun.
In the autumn they fall massively giving me ample opportunity to enjoy a bit of “rake-y” – the meditative experience of raking up the fallen leaves. I find that deeply satisfying!
In the winter time the tree is bare, all branches and twigs but its shape against the moon at night is entrancing.
Now in the Spring the new leaves are starting to grow. The first of them began to emerge last week. Look at this one! I could have picked one of several dozen like this but I stopped to photograph this one.
It astonishes me.
Out of the end of this stick of a twig first a swelling green bud appears, then these leaves start to unfold themselves. Really they are so tiny compared to how they will look when fully grown. The biggest leaves will be larger than your hand. But for now, this emerging leaf is so small it’s only just begun to acquire the recognisable shape of a leaf.
Look at the colour of it in the sunshine! That light, bright green, somehow just shouts “I’m alive!”
As I looked at it I remembered the time Richard Feynman asked the question “Where do trees come from?” and shocked the listener by answering “They come from the air”. Here’s an article which includes the video of him talking about this very subject. He says most people would answer “They come from the soil” but he says it is more correct to say they come from the air, because they are made mainly of carbon which they capture from carbon dioxide which is in the air, and from water which comes directly from the sky as rain, or through the soil after it’s fallen from the sky.
Isn’t that an astonishing thought? We humans certainly can’t do that. We can’t make solid massive forms like trees out of the thin air.