“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


zone 8b

thanksgiving morning.  across the street the ginkgo tree glowed as pale as a cold winter moon; one big wind, i thought, and her modesty will be gone.  here in our yard, the dogwood flashed back at her all orange and winked at me through the open doors.  it was barefoot weather still this side of warmish.

yesterday morning came cold into the day and the leaves were falling, 
leaving the trees,
adios, adios, till next year, goodbye


"trees initiate a process of self-preservation when they notice the shortening of days . 
. ."

i am up late lately, unable to sleep, writing, reading, musing, a tree myself after all, a nearly naked emma tree bracing for winter, feeling the old drop away.  3 or 4 hours of sleep for nights in a row, and then one grand catching up.  pens are everywhere, catching small sentences and thoughts.  something is happening.  i go to the place where i keep my mouth closed tight, taped shut, and that's where the truth falls from my fingertips, smacking hard against the computer keyboard or scrawling upward across the pages, leaving trails of black ink to find my way back again.

"trees are adapted to the climate of the area where they grow. they do not wait for their leaves to be damaged by the harsh conditions of the winter or dry season before losing them.
they prepare in advance for the onset of the unfavourable season . . . "

the unfavourable season.  spelled with a u, it looks not quite so.


sunday morning blooms windless with shadowed light so sharp the trees sit on the lawn like watercolors outlined with fat dark graphite pencils.  not quite real life, but startling so.  no breezes to flutter the still there leaves, the sun not yet over the treetops, just tipping the tops of trees across the street with dabbles of gold.  it is chilly.  my feet are cold even under socks.

i have nothing to teach you, you know.  i worry about that.  i worry it is expected.  my camera has so often sat silent this year, and my words have been few and far between, at least here in this space, and knowing the reason changes little.  i am afraid to move forward into a new year holding so much silence.  in the evenings i write my thoughts on a private blog, thinking i will gather courage and open it up, knowing i won't. 

de·cid·u·ous  (d-sj-s)

1. Falling off or shed at a specific season or stage of growth.
2. Shedding or losing foliage at the end of the growing season.
3. Not lasting; ephemeral.

is this all it is?  is it temporary?  i like wikipedia's definition better: "falling off at maturity", and sit easier with those words, with the added knowledge that i must "regrow new foliage during the next suitable growing season".  truth be told, i have been feeling the growth for months, feeling its itch under my skin, feeling it in the facebook posts i type in annoyance and then delete, in the tweets i erase.  something is coming.  i like that.  i think.  losing one's leaves and baring one's soul to the cold seems cleansing.  necessary. seems like a good idea.

the honeysuckle outside my door
here in this horticultural zone 8
has evolved from deciduous to evergreen
and blooms a little bloom or two during the warmer days of the unfavourable season;
indeed there were blossoms on thanksgiving day.
it will stay green all winter.



  1. Beautiful...so thoughtful and yes, I like unfavourable spelled this way much better too. More elegant. :)

    1. oh, the beauty of those u's. i know there's not supposed to be an apostrophe there, but it reads as us without it. :)

  2. you teach me every time i come here. of the magic of life, the magic of words, the magic of paying attention.
    something is coming... i like that, too.
    i can't wait.

  3. Full of favour; you are that. I feel the falling off also, and it frightened me, until now. I was having trouble letting it fall, fearing there would be no more suitable growing seasons. You have reassured me. You may have nothing to teach, but you do remind.

    1. you are, as always, so kind. and it is good to know i am not alone in this. i think some growing seasons are just harder than others, that sometimes not enough rain falls, or we prepare too early for the coming cold. but always, always, the earth turns and clouds gather and the blessing of rain comes. always.

  4. thought provoking, as always, even when you believe you
    have nothing to offer.
    you are wrong.
    in fondest.

  5. your words dance
    and make me want to follow along.
    and i love the way
    you listen to the earth
    and let her teach you.
    that is all and enough:)

    1. i will take enough. enough is a wonderful feeling - i thank you for it.

  6. your writings always save me from ordinariness and the so-common stilted point of view. your simplest observations become magic and offer sustenance to my soul. And it helps to know i am not alone in holding so much silence.

    bless you. xoxo

    1. sweet graciel. you are not alone. we are in this together - all of us. xoxoxo

  7. love this .. so descriptive ..the leaves & silence i know them well

  8. "i go to the place where i keep my mouth closed tight, taped shut, and that's where the truth falls from my fingertips, smacking hard against the computer keyboard or scrawling upward across the pages, leaving trails of black ink to find my way back again."

    Oh how I love these words!


come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .