Friday, November 17, 2017

People Are Like Leaves by Betsy Ashton

People and leaves share much in common. Some hang around your entire life, some only for a season, others for a few days before they blow away on the wind.

I love the evergreens, the pines, the cedars, the firs. While not officially leaves but needles, the greenery stays year after year, decade after decade. The evergreens are with you through good times and bad. They wipe your nose, hold your head, and kiss you no matter what. They are the ones you can call in the middle of the night because ghouls and goblins are warring in your brain. They may be family members. More likely, they are people you've met in your travels and stuck to you like burrs.

Others are seasonal, erupting in new green leaves in the spring, glowing with health in the summer, changing colors and falling in autumn. Some of these are your absolute best friend when you need one and may stay with you until your need passes. Some drift in and out through the seasons, never staying long but always being on the end of a branch if you need them.

Some rare leaves come in only for a few days. They make a huge impact while they are around, but they don't last. You need them, but you don't count on them to appear. You most certainly don't expect them to stay.

We are entering the holiday season, as if we didn't know it. We have enough Christmas ads on TV to kill any interest in shopping. But if we step back and really look at the holiday season, we can see how we fit into our leaf metaphor.

I pick brightly colored leaves in October, add maple seed pods, and gather acorns to fill vases for Thanksgiving decorating. I use evergreens at Christmas, a fir or two every year, decorated to within an inch of their needles. I hang a bay leaf wreath in the dining room, because it smells so terrific, even though it is made of those rare leaves that don't last.

I need all of these leaves. I hope I'm an evergreen person, but I know I've been seasonal and even passing at times. I have been rethinking how I want to use all leaves in my life.

What kind of leaves surround you? And what kind of leaves are you? How many are evergreen, seasonal, or fleeting?

Happy Thanksgiving to all Roses and your families. I'll catch you one more time before the end of the year for a little Ho! Ho! Ho!


Diane Burton said...

What a great analogy! I'm an evergreen to a few people, more a seasonal one, I think. I'm sure others have found me fleeting. Sometimes, I let "life" overwhelm me and everything (people included) are left behind. Yet, with certain people I feel as if I just saw them and we pick up our conversations even though it's been months or even a year since we last met.

Betsy Ashton said...

I have a best friend who became my bestie the first day I met her. We meet monthly, talk weekly, read each other's drafts, and celebrate wins. We also cry together. We're evergreens.

That said, I've had a couple of besties who came into my life for a week. But that week was just what I needed.

Thanks for the comment. I've been writing a very introspective book, and things like this bubble up.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Timely question, Betsy. I live on a half acre, and little by little, my landscaper is removing old, tired plants. Here in California, I'm looking for green all year. At this time in my life, I'd enjoy 'green,' all year friends, too. I've moved from the Seattle area where I had friendships were 33 years in the making, developed around careers, for the most part. It's trickier to pick up evergreen friendships after our 50's. I have golfing and author friends, mostly, but CA snow birds have a habit of going 'back' to family and old haunts, so I don't get my choice on who's evergreen. In the end, we enjoy the time we get with good people. I can live with that.

Jannine Gallant said...

I feel like friends can be more like groves than leaves at times--designed for a specific relationship. I have my evergreen family that includes a close friend from childhood who isn't going anywhere. Then their is my online writer friend grove I seek out for writing stuff that no one else gets. In the past, I've had work friend groves that seem to get cut down when we no longer have the job in common. The same is now happening with friend groves where our common denominator is our children. We're still friends, but we rarely see each other now that we don't have those sports events/kid functions in common. Hmmm...maybe I should get out more before I find myself living in a desert! Thoughtful post, Betsy!

Alicia Dean said...

Wow, fabulous analogy! Very clever and well-thought out. Thanks for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving!

Brenda whiteside said...

Love this. Thank you.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Lots to think about. I have friends of all colors, you could say. Some more vibrant than others. Very thoughtful ideas you present. Thanks for getting me thinking.

Leah St. James said...

Great post, Betsy! I am blessed with one forever friend from grade school. We lost touch for a while in our early 20s, but when we reconnected, it was like the years had never passed. Hubby and I also had a close circle of friends (Jannine's grove) when our kids were growing up. We are still evergreen friends with one particular couple from that group, but we live about 400 miles from them now. Still, they are evergreens (as fresh as ever) when we do get to meet up.