As the leaves and flowers open fully, we are powerfully aware that summer’s got plans. With the hot and humid temps of June, we jumped into late summer activities. A/C units started pumping out the humidity, and swimsuits made a quick appearance. During summer, I don’t want any reminders of winter. Please, leave me immersed in the fleeting beauty of the season. Get away from me school supplies on display at Target. I want all the wildflowers, sandy feet, slamming screen doors, burned shoulders, and extra mouths to feed. Boy band, O’Town sings my mantra, “I want it all, or nothing at all!”
While I live in my summer fantasy world, all golden and glorious, let’s consider the sugar maple that shades me during the afternoon heat. Looking up, you’ll notice that the leaves on the top of the tree are smaller and lighter in color than those on the bottom, which are a darker shade of green. As I look past the leaves, hoping to catch a glimpse of the goldfinches and chickadees, this tree is absorbing sunlight and buzzing electrons along to each leaf, cell to cell. As I water my flowers underneath her giant canopy, she is absorbing close to eight thousand gallons of water to keep flourishing. That’s roughly the same amount of water that twenty-five humans need to drink in a year, and has me checking the forecast for our next rainfall. By the end of July, she’s converting all the carbon dioxide into sucrose so that she may survive the winter ahead. This season’s leaves have already done their work, ready to be released for us to rake into crunchy piles.
As I read about this cycle for the tree, it got me thinking about my own cycle of growing, absorbing, releasing, and hibernating. Studying plant life often gives me comfort, and quiets me to listen to the deeper wisdom of nature. Knowing that the trees themselves spend energy to absorb the summer sunlight, gives me permission to do the same. Watching the leaves develop for a season, reminds me to let new things grow, appreciating their unique beauty, cell by cell. Listening to the leaves rustle reminds me of thousands of hands applauding as if nature herself is cheering on the flourishing of all things.
What are you invited to absorb this season? Take it all in. It is for your good.
Because I want it all,