by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
As the brilliant shades of autumn spread their crimson, gold, and vibrant colors through the trees I am reminded of the gifts which come to us from places completely unexpected. Those moments we remember, striking deeply into the soul.
Layering our lives with poignant moments, touched with both tears and humor, they enlighten, bringing insights which challenge us to stretch the edge of our understanding, allowing you see to in a different way.
Do you remember such a moment?
I was four years old the first time someone explained photosynthesis to me. Even though the gnarled lemon tree in our backyard was filled with barbs I enjoyed climbing into the cupped canopy of leaves, watching what was happening in the yard and rubbing my cheek on the bark. In this way, you could take the scent of lemon with you when you jumped down.
As I balanced there I heard a friend of the family, who had visited us for lunch earlier, call, “Listen. The tree is breathing.” Startled, I focused on the sounds. In the distance I heard a car, the leaves rippling in the wind. No breathing. I ignored the comment.
“The tree is breathing – can't you hear it?”
How could trees breathe? When you are four years old people tell you things which are not true. I knew this from experience. Sometimes you go along with the joke, for instance the idea it is Santa Claus who brings the presents under the tree and not your father, who fetches them down from the attic on Christmas Eve. But this comment struck me as outrageous.
Unwinding myself from the branch I jumped down from the tree. Stalking over to where the figure of our guest was, reclining on the lawn, I put my hands on my hips and said. “Trees do not breathe. I listened. You are telling a story.”
He sat up and looked me straight in the eye. “Trees breathe. They breathe in light and breathe out life.” I sat down hard, which does not hurt at all when you are four. Suddenly, I could see what he meant, the flow of sun into trees and plants and grass and on into what ate them. Into us. Wow.
James Dean plucked a dandelion and handed it to me. Leaves have never looked the same to me and I have never forgotten.
Be blessed and be a blessing!.