October 25, 2015, 5:17 PM. Ash is but a mere silhouette in front of the backdrop that is the evening sky. His branches, sharp and dark, streak across the atmosphere poking through clouds and jet streams along the way. He is stripped bare and clean of the leaves he once bore; he is naked among the elements, yet he stands like a stone, unfazed by his transformation. As he looms over me while the sun sets to the west, his shadow begins to creep closer and closer. He possesses a sense of nobility, almost as if he knows that he has been through this very same life cycle many times before. While I sit here and observe this tree, I wonder if maybe I am the one being observed.
Beneath the branches, at Ash’s feet lies the bed of leaves that has been cumulating in the weeks prior to this day. A sea of tan, beige and burnt orange sits on top of the grass with a few yellow leaves peaking out. At this point most if not all of the leaves have dried out and crinkled into some mangled shape that is anything but leaf-like. I pick out one among the crowd.
The leaf curls around itself hiding the front face of the leaf. It looks like a Cannoli as it creates a central pipeline leading down towards the stem. The cold breeze rustles the leaves and this particular leave wobbles back and forth. Its curled up nature makes me think that the leave is curling up in preparation for the cold weather. I take a step forward and there is a crunch beneath my feat. There is nowhere to step without coming into contact with any leaves.
The few leaves still clinging onto the tree are the last survivors. One branch has significantly more leaves than any other. It points across Morgan Field and over towards Drayer Hall. These few leaves embrace the true meaning of the “survival of the fittest” motto, but unbeknownst to the leaves, their time will come as well. Regarding my blog for next week, I expect to see much fewer leaves, and possibly none at all.