Leaves (damage)

I pick up the occasional leaf when I see any that appeal while on my daily walks. They are always damaged and beautiful – which seems like a metaphor for all of us – we are inevitably knocked about by life, and hurt along the way, but we remain glorious (though sometimes you have to look for the right angle to see this!). I have recently listened to an audio book “Flesh Wounds” by Richard Glover, about his family and upbringing – even the title hints at this idea of damage – and the epigraph in a book I just finished reading (The Fighter, by Michael Farris Smith, a writers’ week selection) is “To be alive at all is to have scars” (John Steinbeck). As I get older, my own physical imperfections become more obvious – the arthritic hobble is a prime example – but these leaves remind me that damage can add to beauty, and the deteriorations of age have a tender loveliness. Here are some pictures of a few of my leaves… I wonder what happened to them, the lives they lived on their trees (but who can tell a history of leaves after all…).

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