Tag Archives: Spring


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.





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midland n. the middle part of a country

“It’s middle earth, you dumb ass…not midland earth,” she said with a mocking grin.

“But technically shouldn’t Tolkien have called it Midland Earth since it was in the middle of the country? Isn’t that really what he meant?,” I said trying to sound intelligent having never read any Tolkien.

“No, not at all. Tolkien used the term Middle Earth as a reflection of time in the earths history, not a physical place on the earth. If he meant the midland of earth it would have been somewhere in the Atlantic…the nearest country being Ghana”, she said matter-of-factly. “To clarify, the midland of North America would be Nebraska or Kansas, roughly.”

“Also the “midland” of nowhere,” I laughed. She smirked and giggled slightly with her face quickly returning to a serious expression underneath her horn rimmed glasses and ruddy face. We went on pulling out the lawn and staring down.

It was an unusual March. I say unusual because the seasons seemed to have mixed themselves up and instead of Lion marching in, the Lamb lounged in the unseasonable 70 degree heat. Short sleeves and flip flops abounded as we enjoyed the uncanny weather that hinted at the splendor the Spring and Summer had in store. School was out early for conferences and we sat on my front lawn tearing out the grass my father had toiled so hard to cultivate yet remained patchy nonetheless.

I never pretended to be smart nor did I want to be. If I could really be anything it would have been athletic or popular, by no means smart. Smart was for people like Agnes with her library of dog eared Tolkien stories and coke bottle glasses. I could have been smart. I had the genes…I just always strove for the unattainable…the intangible quality that I had no chance of attaining. So at the age of 12, I achieved a profound level of mediocrity striving to be something special. If mediocrity was a country, I most certainly would have been it’s midland…

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