Trees, Fallen Leaves… Are Some Of My Favourite Things | Flash Post 439
Button, I love trees, pressed dry flowers, diamond-shaped water danglers hanging precariously from the tips of sprigs of a fir tree in our garden during the monsoons, sparkling rainwater cocooned by leaves, dry leaves that have fallen off trees especially the frayed golden-yellow ones exposing an intricate filigree of veins and capillaries.
Was that what you bent down to pick up this morning from the garden?
Exactly. Come. See the image I have taken.
Those capillaries and veins you see supply water and nourishment to every part of the leaf much like veins and capillaries supply blood and oxygen to every part of our body.
I find trees fascinating. When I go on long drives, I never fail to notice trees along the way. Each tree—be it a banyan, a peepul, a mango tree or a jackfruit tree—has a distinctive look and character. Again, no banyan tree looks like another banyan tree or a peepul tree like another peepul tree. Each tree is unique and stunningly beautiful in a quiet dignified way. Some trees are gnarled because of old age. Some stand ramrod straight fearing they may get hunched in later years. Some have a thatched roof-like appearance on top leaving the lower branches almost bare while others, like the banyan tree, sends down roots that hold on to the soil to support and sustain the mother tree. Those roots also provide succour to the new branches that sent down more roots to provide food to even newer branches that in turn send down more roots. The harmony between the branches and roots of the banyan enables the tree to spread further and further. I don’t notice any strife amongst the trees and plants in our garden. Creepers, especially young shoots of different plants take support of the mighty ones to grow up into healthy adults.
It’s the ecosystem that has been put in place by nature. Or God.
Coming to leaves, when Dost and I were walking the streets of London, we’d often wade through several layers of golden maple leaves strewn everywhere. They’d crunch under our feet as we strolled hand-n-hand.
What about Rome?
More litter, fewer leaves. But a lovely city. The train ride we took out of Roma to Florence had lots of pine trees along the way. I find pine trees nondescript. Some may be taller than others but, the overall look is the same. Nothing distinctive there.
Are trees alive?
Of course! Trees respond to stimuli. For instance, you’ll notice that trees grow towards the sun. How can trees not be alive, Button? Don’t you see how the trees and plants in our garden need a trim now and then to control them from growing wild? The flower-bearing plants bear flowers because they are alive. The fir tree we got home one Christmas many years back was so tiny that we used to bring her indoors to dress her up. We can’t anymore because she’s the tallest tree in the garden. The fact that you see so many shades of green amongst the plants is because they are passing through various stages of growth. The leaves are a lighter green when plants are young. They grow darker and darker as they age before turning yellow and falling off the branch. They also feel pain when felled. When I take a walk in the garden every morning and talk to my plants, I have often tried to break a half-dried leaf but the resistance I receive stops me from tugging at it further. That’s when I realise that it is not entirely dead. Now, I only pick up the ones that have fallen off on their own. Trees respond to music too. Who knows if the trees and plants in our garden are the way they are—healthy and strong—because I play a lot of music!
So, when lakhs and lakhs of trees are felled to build new roads or railways or malls or buildings or car sheds, we are doing grave injustice to them!
We most certainly are. Because the human race wasn’t meant to occupy every square inch of space. There are flora and fauna that also have the right to their place in this universe.