You know it's fall when you can't see the street for leaves. This stock photo is not the street I drove on earlier today, but close enough to be an almost perfect representation. Mine was a city street, without sidewalks but well-populated with houses. This is what the surface looked like, and this is what the trees looked like. The word "spectacular" falls flat as a descriptor. This photo was taken somewhere in Tennessee, but I don't know the exact location. Really, it is a close enough replica of North 14th Street to be the perfect stand in.
The trees are in their full, show-stopping glory today. This is it. They have been preparing for this performance since April or May when the leafing out began or June when it was fully done. It's amazing when you think about what a short time trees actually have leaves, but leafed out and green is how we think of them, even though they spend most of the year bare naked and letting in the sun for us. Green they stay for four or five months, and then comes the show we were all waiting to see: in amazing, glorious, mind-blowingly vivid living color. Ladeeez and gentlemen! I now present to you, just in from her tour of the northern reaches of Canada and the rugged fjords of Newfin Land: Autumn!
I see a standing ovation and hear thunderous applause. It's the only possible response (except Shehekianu).
I should have driven down Maxwell Street, the one that runs by the bank, which has the best trees ever on it. I know every one of them on a first name basis, though I am more respectful with the older ones. Those trees have been through it. When I drive on Maxwell, I am in awe of those trees. Those are the most glorious trees I know. They are mystical trees. When I look at them I experience an altered state of consciousness in which they seem preternaturally three-dimensional... They stand out in vivid relief against the simple houses they guard and shade. Each one is a living entity that has a life and character of its own. I love driving down that street.
While I was driving home from Kroger today and admiring the glory of those amazing trees, I paused at the corner of Douglas Avenue for a moment of silent reverence for the trees that were lost in the tornado. Twenty thousand trees lost their lives when that tornado came actoss the river from downtown and tore a half-mile swath of fury through East Nashville. Twenty thousand trees.
I wish I could have seen them.
Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech ha-olam she-lo chi-sar b'ola-mo k'lum, u'va-ra vo bri-yos to-vos v'ila-nos to-vos ley-ha-nos ba-hem bnei a-dam.
[Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has not made His world lacking in anything and has created its goodly creatures and goodly trees to give pleasure to mankind.]photo credit: Google photos