I can’t stop looking at trees




Seattle is the first place I’ve lived in more than a decade that has a real autumn: where the skies are a sparkly blue and the leaves blush crimson and glow golden. So every time I leave the house, I’m the crazy lady standing in the middle of a busy urban sidewalk holding my phone over my head taking photos, and then more photos, of leaves. And. I can’t. Stop.

Because it’s beautiful!

And because I kind of relate to them. (Warning: I anthropomorphize everything — I’ve been known to project feelings onto a pair of old slippers). They (the trees) just seem so joyous — and vibrantly so. I feel exactly that way too when I look at them.

Instead of worrying about my job search or feeling like an unrooted nomad, staring at the trees I feel not just calmer but surer of things. Maybe change or hardship in your life isn’t something that needs to be endured with gritted teeth and white knuckles, but should be joyous even if your gut reaction is to think “when will this end — this is so uncomfortable!”

It reminds me of Elizabeth Gilbert’s interview in the Atlantic where she talks about Jack Gilbert’s poetry. Here’s the snippet from his poem “A Brief for the Defense” that I think rings so true for Ms. Gilbert, for me, for trees, for you, for this season:

We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world.

I feel like the trees get that, and I’m going to follow suit. Or at least keep taking photos until I do.

4 thoughts on “I can’t stop looking at trees”

  1. I can’t stop looking at the trees too. I love Autumn and it’s hard to leave a place when you know Autumn is just right around the corner.

Leave a Reply