Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).
My first instinct when approaching this prompt was to retell the stories of the really hard parts of my year. If you’d like to read about them you can – here and here. Oh sadness, why are you so vivid?
My next instinct was to get all “yoga” on you and say something like,<insert breathy voice here> “every moment I feel alive” – because I’m just that good at being in the moment.
Then I wanted to punch myself for being so pretentious and figured that wasn’t the direction this post would take if I wanted to keep my readers.
So I’ll talk about something that has made me all misty-eyed and proud.
Drum roll, please….
I noticed – on several different occasions – the trees changing color.
What the big effing deal about that?
For starters, just about every tree in Sacramento changes from green to Technicolor yellow, orange, red. It is like an explosion of color and so different from the evergreen trees around where I grew up. You would pretty much have to be blind not to notice.
And until last fall (during yoga teacher training), I didn’t ever notice the beauty.
How can that be you ask?
Usually I’m stuck in my head and mired in how to get from here to there or how to get this group of people to do what I want them to do when I want them to do it and for them to think it was their idea – instead of paying attention to the details of life around me.
Not this year.
This year, I am paying attention to those damn leaves.
I’ve even picked out my favorite trees – they are twins.
They live across the street on the corner a couple of blocks down the street from me.
I found out recently they are ginkgo biloba trees. They are at least 10 feet tall, slender and right now have bright yellow flower petal shaped leaves covering them.
There is also a pile of leaves on the sidewalk and street. I’m hoping to see the flurry of leaves falling when the wind kicks in.
I hope I don’t miss it.
Why do these leaves make me so heart-swelling happy?
Because I am finally noticing the little details of life. I think they call it living in the moment. I have heard this is where the peace and the happiness live.
Has there been a moment that took your breath away this year?
Today’s prompt is from:
Author: Ali Edwards
Memory Keeping Idea Books
Dude. I was obsessed with watching trees during TT too! There was one tree in particular that I would pass on my walk to the studio and I would trip out over the fact that it was like a *completely different* tree every TT weekend.
Right?!?! There is also a ginkgo across from the studio that is spectacular in the fall. I’m so glad I FINALLY took note. Turns out, fall is by far my favorite season. Who knew?
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Just found your blog on Reverb 10 — I am a little behind on the challenges, but I too have been looking at trees! I was going to use it as part of the Wonder prompt (Day 4). Looking forward to reading more of your work!
@tricia: thank you for stopping by! i’m way behind on challenges now too.
trees are indeed a wonder. so glad i’m finally paying attention.
I love that the trees are Ginkgo Biloba – isn’t that also the herb that helps us to focus and concentrate?
@erica: yes! how crazy is that coincidence?
This brought a smile to my face. Last year,I took part in a group collaborative that chose a tree, followed it for a year, taking pictures at designated times, and posting them to our blogs. The collaborative ended a half year ago, and I’m still watching that tree closely!
@paula: that project sounds heavenly.
thank you for coming by.
@paula: trees are magic.
Found you on reverb 10. What a lovely post – I chose one downer moment and one better moment.
As I was reading your post, though, I remembered how taken I was with the changing colors on the trees this year. Something about that is so amazing. Thanks for the reminder to pay attention to the little things.
Man, I love those trees. Glad they helped you pay attention.
living in the moment is a gift and that’s why they call it the present. ;) i think i stole that from kung fu panda but it’s true!! i don’t know much about trees but gingko biloba sounds good. fall is my favorite season.. when the leaves change color.. and i like walking on them to hear the crisp crunch.
It’s funny how sometimes we just don’t notice something that we see all the time, or drive by everyday, and then all of a sudden it’s just there — right in front of us — as if it smacked us in the forehead. Where has this been all our lives? All the cliches are finally grand truths. Enjoy the trees and their leaves. The miraculous thing is that they’ll be right back there again next year.
@cristina: “The miraculous thing is that they’ll be right back there again next year.” made me smile out loud.
oh, ginko trees are The Best when it comes to color. gorgeous, aren’t they? those and sugar maples. they’re pretty spectacular, too. you know, i’ve long held that trees changing color is nature’s equivalent of female development. when the chlorophyll ceases, that’s when the brilliant color pops out. lovely post. and thanks for dropping by mine a bit ago.
How is it Ryan always has the perfect poem for any occasion? I have nothing left to add.
@Madeleine. Google helped tremendously, and serendipity. I was fact checking my thing about the ginkos dropping their leaves at one time, and stumbled on the Nemerov poem. Happy to be the vehicle for today’s poem! :-)
It’s a bittersweet moment for me when I realize that for years I’ve been taking something for granted or overlooking beauty that is right in front of me. Sad that I’ve missed truly seeing it for so long but also happy I did finally “find” it.
I’m loving what this reverb10 is doing for me and the places it’s taking me!
@brad: i totally concur.
I have mad love for Gingko biloba (yes, it’s that deep). In the wind, the yellow leaves look like thousands of butterflies! I first fell in love with these trees near the art building at Sac State. There’s a beautiful view of them from the second floor. When they drop their leaves, the ground is just absolutely draped in gold. <3
I have had a love affair with trees this year as well. Love, love, love.
“This year, I am paying attention to those damn leaves.”
What a great line. Another great reverb find. I love it.
@marie: thank you.
i mentioned “sad” and “trees” in my post too! glad you’re seeing the small things. peace and happiness in those damn trees.
Ginkgos rock. After coveting my neighbor’s ginkgo, I planted one in my front yard 10 years ago. I now love Fall, even if it means copious raking.
GINKGO WARNING: Thinking about planting a ginkgo?Never. NEVER EVER plant a female ginkgo. They smell like vomit. No joke.
@beer whore: so good to know about the femail ginkgo. who knew?
I love this post! It has only been very recently that I noticed anything beautiful in nature as well. For me, I am always in my head…planning, planning, planning…so nothing ever goes wrong…or having 2 or 3 backup plans in case whatever goes wrong, is handled without missing a beat! I.e…so I don’t feel out of control…EVER.
I quit smoking 7 days ago…so screw it, I feel out of control all the time now!
I’ll never forget a trip to Paris I took with Von…back when we were in our early 20’s, and I had discretionary income and free time! I reminded her of Meg Ryan in the movie French Kiss where she said “Beautiful, Beautiful”!!!! without looking at anything. We were at the Louvre, and all I cared about was smoking and diet coke.
Happy to say, some things have changed since then…I still love smoking (sorry, can’t help it)…but it doesn’t love me…so I must let it go…but I still drink way too much diet coke… But in the last year, I have noticed sunsets…pink clouds….a bamboo tree….and Jupiter. My daughter calls it “our star that follows us”…we found out it was Jupiter. Too cool. :)
@kim: that control thing? i’m busy learning that lesson a lot too.
congrats on the no butts action – so.freaking.hard.
i <3 french kiss. and travel is wasted on the youth.
thanks for reading.
I <3 Ginko Trees! Did you know that they drop all their leaves within a span of 1-2 days, and sometimes 1-2 hours? The coolest thing is they just do it in their own time. I love the way the leaves flutter down with their fan shapes.
Here's a poem by Howard Nemerov about ginkos…
Late in November, on a single night
Not even near to freezing, the ginkgo trees
That stand along the walk drop all their leaves
In one consent, and neither to rain nor to wind
But as though to time alone: the golden and green
Leaves litter the lawn today, that yesterday
Had spread aloft their fluttering fans of light.
What signal from the stars? What senses took it in?
What in those wooden motives so decided
To strike their leaves, to down their leaves,
Rebellion or surrender? and if this
Can happen thus, what race shall be exempt?
What use to learn the lessons taught by time,
If a star at any time may tell us: Now.
I totally agree that I went Debby Downer on this post too, at first.
I’m with you on the trees. Usually I don’t notice the color change until they’re starting to fall but this year it was impossible to miss (except I’m in MN and not Cali but… still, good tree watching!)
I’m glad I found you via #Reverb. All the best!
– Gina –