In late spring, we watch the different deciduous trees around our house slowly come into leaf, each type emerging when it is best for them. The first is always the willow, and the last is the red oak, which often still retains some leathery leaves from last year. It must have been explained to me in some biology class how leaves form inside a bud, but it still looks like a trick to me, like flowers coming out of a magician’s wand.
I noticed yesterday that the leaves on the birch and trembling aspen were quite large, but it was today that I was certain they were in perfect full leaf as it was a windy afternoon and I could hear the rustling of the leaves. This is by far my favourite day of the year, when I can once again hear the trees talking to me and to each other, to the birds and the sky, after a long winter of silent meditation.
The Christian God I was taught to both fear and worship has long ago slunk away to sit grumpily on a cloud after I ignored him for so long, while the Spirit of my choosing joyfully speaks to me through trees and birds and rocks and flowers. I am far happier in a forest than I ever was in a church, and the song of the leaves and the trees is the most beautiful sound in the world. How lucky I am to live surrounded by this choir.