The Leafless Full Tree

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Leafless, Not Lifeless

In “The Idler,” poet Samuel Johnson wrote, “Our brightest blazes of gladness are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.”

While I have grown accustomed to expecting Very Bad News, I continue to encounter beauty in surprising places.

In New England, certain seasonal features are de rigueur.  But the shapes they take can be delightfully unexpected.

Despite a blaze of sunshine, an abrupt hail storm pelted our puppy’s nose with tiny orbs of white ice.  He savored them as they turned to drops of water on his tongue.  He cast his bittersweet chocolate eyes heavenward, as if wondering what further unusual treats might be dispatched from above.

I drove along a road.  Its curbs were heaped with leaves which have turned from vivid shades into variegated umber, crackling and curled up like arthritic paws.  On my periphery, to the right, I saw what looked like an undulating blanket of deep brown, flecked with gold, carpeting a lawn.

I pulled over and watched as it began to break apart.  I realized it was a sea of small songbirds–similar to hundreds which touched down at our former home, screeching so loudly that we all went outside in wonder–picking furiously at seeds.  I was surrounded by warbling and twittering, frantic banter not unlike a chorus of feet treading heavily upon squeaky puppy toys.

In clusters, the birds flew over my head and across the street to a single destination, both formulating and answering a riddle: when is a bare, leafless tree still full?

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Here’s to the magical unexpected: the rising sun that swallows a lighthouse, then lets it go; rigidly arched sunset clouds which suddenly dissolve into fiery colors and spill out like a phoenix rising from ashes; November’s bright sun hitting the lights at Fenway Park like a scene out of “The Natural“; rounding a corner and seeing an ordinarily gray church facade lit up in Red Sox red; the earnest and expressive seagull who sits and poses for photographs rather than screeching and flying off to the waves; a robin hopping from branch to branch, camouflaged among fall’s last leaves; a pebble with a smiling face scraped into its surface during its journey to the beach; a wispy heart cloud against a cobalt blue sky, trailing along beside me.

About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2020 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
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16 Responses to The Leafless Full Tree

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Competition: Unexpected | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  2. pix & kardz says:

    your words and images both outdo yet complement one another in sharing unexpected treasures. so rich. what a delightful post!

  3. pix & kardz says:

    i forgot to mention – i love the term – leafless full tree. have often seen them, but never thought to call it by that name. it so fits. brilliant.

  4. scillagrace says:

    Take joy, my friend, in what you see. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge-Unexpected | WoollyMuses

  6. Angelia Sims says:

    Wonderful images impressed even more by your words and observations. I think a leafless tree is quite the full load with that many feathered friends on board. 🙂

  7. What a wonderful take on the challenge….I was transported by your puppy’s bittersweet eyes thank you.

  8. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge-Unexpected-2 | WoollyMuses

  9. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge / B4 Retouch: Unexpected (Karnak) | What's (in) the picture?

  10. A M says:

    As usual, this was a beautiful blog — and I was happy to revisit “our former home;” and re-read today’s blog with wonderful expressions — chocolate eyes, leafless full tree, sun hitting the lights at Fenway Park like a scene from “The Natural.” Thank you so much for this wonderful writing and photographs!!! You enrich us with your blog.

  11. Pingback: Weekly Challenge: Unexpected | Through the Eye of Bastet

  12. Pingback: Unexpected photographs | Processing the life

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