|image of a last leaf courtesy A. Vesthaug, in Norway|
attached so lightly
she is not quite
for the fall.
© Shaista Tayabali, 2011, for dverse
Our cherry tree seems not to have noticed that it is nearing the end of November. Every day I watch the leaves. Even the fastest leaf shimmy seems but a playful game, not a determined detachment. Last night I dreamed I was at the top of some stairs, but had a choice as to my descent - choose stairs and painstakingly make my way down, or jump. I decided to jump, but gravity didn't exert her usual force. I found myself magnetised to the parapet wall, stuck there, shifting uneasily, sliding a few inches, but the deciding force was my mind, keeping me upright. I didn't want to fall, but I couldn't change my direction. I had to jump. It took ages, and so much energy, so much concentration. And then finally, I jumped.
Did you hear the story of Anne Frank's tree? In 2007, a hard won battle was fought to preserve the horse chestnut, even though fungal disease had entered the trunk. A steel construction was built to prolong the life of the tree. The case garnered much media attention. And then, on 23 August 2010, gale force winds blew down the tree. Change is going to come no matter what we do, but boy, do we fight it!
(This is a video clip of Emma Thompson, opening the Anne Frank Tree in the Anne Frank House, a year before the fall. She wanted to celebrate Anne's sense of humour and her girlhood, so she paired a sombre black top with a bright pink skirt! Anne would have approved of Emma Thompson, don't you feel?)