The Underside of Leaves


I was awake. Challenging my mind with memories and questioning what happened kept me from enjoying any kind of sleep.

There is a view of my backyard that I love. The small window which scrolls out and upward in my bathroom has always been a peaceful place for me.

In the light of day, I just stand there looking out, scanning the garden, watching the birds and squirrels play.

At night I have several lights that glow for hours in the garden. If I catch them early in the evening it's like discovering a sacred place in my sometimes turbulent world.

Each glowing torch lights up the foliage nearby. Each spotlight shines on a tall tree, vine or birdhouse highlighting special points I created.

I find it peaceful and heaven-like.

I had gotten up a number of times last night. The first was much too early in the evening to appreciate the view.

I had pulled the small curtains across the window as I headed off to bed.

When I got up later, I slid the dark brown fabric sideways splitting it in the middle like the opening curtain on a theater production.

I was taken by the peachy/orange glow reflecting off the trees. It was unusually bright. The garden lights appeared faded and dim in the background. The day had not been sunny enough to power them into this late hour.

There is a light on a telephone pole next to my house that offers security for the business located there. The light isn't a natural bright daylight, but a more subtle glow.

It was the source of the unusual reflection I was seeing. It's always been there. So why was it different tonight?

I was seeing the underside of the leaves.

There was a steady, gentle breeze last night that exposed the underside of the leaves to the light. The underside is a light green which turned the scene into a stunning bright glow I had never noticed before.

There is an old weather story from early Farmers Almanac folklore, that says the leaves on a tree can predict rain.

Further research before writing this message for you revealed the following:

“Does seeing the undersides of leaves really mean rain is on the way? In this case, our forebears were definitely onto something. The leaves of deciduous trees, like maples and poplars, do often turn upward before heavy rain. The leaves are actually reacting to the sudden increase in humidity that usually precedes a storm. Leaves with soft stems can become limp in response to abrupt changes in humidity, allowing the wind to flip them over.”

In this case, there was no predicted rain in the forecast. It was simply the fact that the steady wind was bending the leaves and small branches.

I returned to bed and continued my tormented vigil of present and past life challenges. But it was the image of the tree that finally made sense of it all.

You see, my mind was focusing on what I considered an approaching storm. There's one side of me that everyone sees that appears content. The storms that pass through my life,
push and blow through revealing the underside I keep mostly hidden.

Like the leaves on the tree.

I learned last night that in the proper light the underside of leaves caused by wind, rain or an approaching storm, can actually be beautiful.

It was the beautiful glow of that image that brought peace to my mind and I gently fell asleep.

Tonight if I am struggling I am sure I will find myself standing there at the window. But now looking out at the glow of the garden lights, I will see the trees differently.

Each leaf will remind that there are two sides to every challenge. The one we reveal and the one we keep hidden.

In the right light both can be beautiful.

Bob Perks

 


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