throwing away all of your possessions once a year

“Autumn in New England” by Maurice Prendergast

If you rake fallen leaves into a pile and then examine them, you will see that each one shows a consummately clean break at the same place near the base of the stem. The fall of leaves is highly choreographed: First the green pigments are pulled back behind the narrow row of cells marking the border between stem and branch. Then, on the mysteriously appointed day, this row of cells is dehydrated and becomes weak and brittle. The weight of the leaf is now sufficient to bend and snap it from the branch. It takes a tree only a week to discard its entire year’s work, cast off like a dress barely worn but too unfashionable for further use. Can you imagine throwing away all of your possessions once a year because you are secure in your expectation that you will be able to replace them in a matter of weeks? These brave trees lay all of their earthly treasures on the soil, where moth and rust doth immediately corrupt. They know better than all the saints and martyrs put together exactly how to store next year’s treasure in Heaven, where the heart shall be also.
~ Hope Jahren
(Lab Girl)

6 thoughts on “throwing away all of your possessions once a year”

  1. What a gorgeous quote. Makes me look at the dead leaves on our yard a bit differently. I’m so sad when fall ends, and yet, as Hope Jahren says, the courage of the trees to let them go, knowing they will be replaced, is beyond measure.

    1. Thank you, Pam. I’m a little sad I’m missing my New England autumn this year. But I’m really enjoying this book. Books written by scientists who have an appreciation for all the spiritual “lessons” found in nature are my favorites.

        1. Ah yes, you’ve mentioned Madeleine L’Engle to me before. I haven’t read any of her books yet, although there is one in my “to read” pile. So many books, so little time…

    1. Thank you, Tiny! I love the pictures of the natural word you share on your blog. Mama Sandy & Papa Stanley are full of courage, too.

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