After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
~ Neslon Mandela
The American Beech (Fagus grandifolia) is a lovely tree. Native to Eastern North America, it’s found in landscapes and woodlands, has smooth gray bark and glossy dark green leaves. The leaves turn bronze in fall, and stay on the tree for a very long time, making it easy to spot on a winter or early spring walk. The photo above was taken yesterday, April 5th, while on my morning walk in the nearby wood. Those leaves will persist until the buds with the new season’s growth begin to swell, knocking them to the ground. It’s a marvel the persistance of the Beech heaf to hang on until the very last minute, to be the last to fall. But for what purpose. The prize for hanging on so long, is simply to fall and let the cycle of life begin again.
The persistant effort of the Beech leaf, echos the meaning in the quote from Neslon Mandela above, and both are wonderful metaphors for the life of a gardener. Each year we cultivate our gardens, battle pests, nurtur the soil, and prune and shape. We work until the last possible moment on our cares, only to see our creations are wiped clean with the winter snows. But come spring, we are renewed, our buds begin to swell and we start climbing hills again, finally having let go of last season’s triumphs and failures.
Tell me friends, what have you let go of from last season, and what hills will you be climbing in your gardens this year? I’d love to hear about them!