abscission n. the process by which parts of a plant break off naturally, e.g. dead leaves
I suppose I could wax poetic about the beauty of fallen leaves and autumn. I could dig up some obscure Robert Frost poem and post it on here – and I do love me some Robert Frost – but that’s not what came to mind when I chose this word. I instantly thought of this scene from one of my favorite martial arts movies, Hero. Kung Fu movies are good for Fridays and this particular scene is marvelously beautiful.
There is a certain beauty in the life of a leaf. Right now as I write this I am looking out of my window into the yard and there are thousands of leaves blooming. They start out as little white flowers on some trees and big, stinky purple flowers on others. Spring is their youthful, child stage. Then the summer comes and they turn tough and green to withstand the heat and thunderstorms – like adults. They find employment in the Summer giving shade to people and children. Then as the Autumn approaches they turn wonderful, mature colors – unlike the delicate pinks and whites of the Spring. They are older, wiser and approaching their abscission. Then they fall and carpet the ground, seeding the earth for the next Spring. We go through months of cold without the company of leaves. Even the trees look sad to be so barren. But then they return in the Spring. It’s amazing how we overlook the beauty of such an amazing thing because it is in such abundance. Makes me wonder how much I don’t pay attention to everyday.
This word also makes me thing about this White Stripes song.