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Banbury Cross

a pillow for lost thoughts...

Post details: Miracle of Life

Miracle of Life

An old, stately maple tree grows just outside of my bedroom window. It is half Guardian and half Peeping Tom. The first thing I see every morning when I wake up is one of its many branches craning its neck to peek inside. But when the storm hits, those same branches come knocking on my windowpane, warning me of an impending doom. In winter, they quietly brood like fishing poles angling for the Sun; in Summer, they flit like strings of tinsel adorning car dealerships just before the Labor Day sale.

Couple of days ago, the branches were completely bare, looking desolate and lonely, keeping their promises to themselves, like gray skeletons of optimism. But then, almost overnight, as if goaded by an invisible bugle, little shiny flags of leafs appeared, springing impatiently from their ambush. Before I could have realized the winter had just expired - the branches were besieged by the Green Army. And just like every year I was left gazing at them and puzzling where did all those soldiers of photosynthesis come from.

When I was a kid, I thought that all the green mass was waiting in hiding underneath the bark. One year in early April, I even perpetrated a horrible crime of tree mutilation and cut one of the boughs to see what was inside. But I discovered nothing but a light brown wood and some pulp. Absolutely no sign of green. Where on Earth does it come from? Please, understand that this is not a trivial matter. That's several pounds of foliage per tree we are talking about. One day just a suspicious bud, and the next morning - Kaboom! There may be a Latin name for it, but I call it (rather inadequately) the Miracle of Life - the stuff that leaves you wondering for the rest of your life: tulips sticking their red heads out of the bulbs, bamboo shoots bamboozling bookish botanists, ducklings pecking their way to freedom and much much more.

These days we get way too easily flummoxed by the Material Maelstrom continuously stoked by the Mainstream Media - bailouts, bankruptcies, toxic loans, financial meltdowns, even the Pirates of Somalia chip in. What a pity that we don't pay more attention to simpler aspects of our existence. Maybe this whole Great Recession is a subtle hint that we should reevaluate our priorities and realize that a tree can be as complex and shiny as a brand new SUV and that taking kids to a public park is as entertaining as showering them with pieces of plastic made in China.



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