Day 48 - Tenacious

January 26, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

Whenever I walk in nearby Downs Park, I always leave richer than when I entered; this Anne Arundel County park offers me a sensory feast of sight, sound, smell and touch. I like to venture off the paved paths and explore those less traveled. On one of my favorite dirt paths, I pass a number of beech trees. Unlike the oak and maple cousins and other deciduous trees that long ago released their hold to drop their leaves, the beech clutches tenaciously to its leaves as days grow shorter and colder.

In January, these dry brittle brown leaves curl into themselves as if seeking warmth, as if retreating inward like my grandmother wore her body in the winter of her life. As the path curves to the right, I always stop at one particular beech tree and listen, sometimes holding my breath if the breeze is a mere whisper. Today when the wind rustled, it stirred all the curled leaves to shiver and perform a chorus of paper bells, sound spiraling outward in the silence of the damp woods. My grandmother too made music as her shrinking body curled in bed and she sang hymns.

Next spring, when new buds begin to appear, these leaves will let go and become part of the earth. But until then, even while they are dying, they create peaceful music on a dreary winter day for anyone who steps off the main path and stops to listen.

This day gave me a gift of a paper bell chorus.

> DAY 49 Drips

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