Click to enlarge

Story-telling Leaves

I honestly wish only to visit Central Park and focus only on my little innocent friends and try to capture a few moments of their precious wonderful lives to share with you--but there goes the ‘Geese Police’ truck off to torment some more geese. I cringe and do my best to keep focused on the antics of the two squirrels running around the tree in front of me.

But then in the midst of my focusing the putrid stench of some human’s cigarette fumes reaches me and I assess the situation; The Central Park Conservancy hired the ‘Geese Police’ to chase those beautiful animals away--their crime being ‘basic survival’, but the crimes of the cigarette smoker goes unpunished.

I try to imagine the life of a baby Canada goose--beating all those incredible odds and finally opening its eyes after breaking out of its shell. Here now is a world before her--sunlight and air, and so many sounds and most of all her mother’s love and care very close by. She has no idea that she is loathed by a group of pompous, selfish human beings--she has no concept of that because the Wind and the sunlight and all the forces of the Universe are welcoming her into the world. Presently there must be some kind of exultation in her tiny heart that she has made it into the world--she was granted the gift of Life.
She begins to pull the warm delicious air into her little lungs and then she discovers that she could move all these wonderful little mechanisms on her furry body. She wants to do them all at once--wiggle toes, blink eyes, make sounds with her puny mouth. Then all around her are more little fuzzy people just like her and she discovers the fine art of snuggling!

Why the very last thing on her precious mind is that she should just untangle herself from her little brothers and sisters and hold her breath until the beautiful, exciting images coming into her eyes have all faded to darkness and that there should be no more wiggling of toes and wobbling over to siblings for a hug and a head tuck between warm bellies and soothing squeaky sounds from tender little mouths.

Why should she ever want to give anything like that up? Not that she would have a choice anyway, not when every star in the sky and every leaf on every tree are all telling her how beautiful she is and how happy they are to see her. Listen to it for yourself--only we call it ‘rustling’ for the leaves when the Wind caresses them, and ‘lapping’ when the water in the pond kisses a rock. It’s only because we are unfamiliar with that language that we think it’s just noise, but what it is really is the happy expressions made by Nature upon seeing that little baby goose coming into the world, and that baby squirrel smacking his little lips to taste Life. I’m trying to learn that language really bad, and it’s not easy even if all it takes is to listen. I listen with all my might and I feel like I can hear the happy sounds in the leaves and it so clear sometimes that on that branch hanging over the pond a baby robin just hatched, and under those rocks, deep inside a long dark hole in a soft warm little nest, a little boy rat just got gently pushed into the world where he’d right away have to start some wiggling and any amount of snuggling.
Those ‘noisy’ leaves tells of every story of every new beating heart, only they tell it all at once, having little or no regard for grammar and punctuation and all those other useless artifacts which serve only to slow us down and bore listeners when we tell our own stories.

I delight in listening to all those happy little stories so eagerly told by the Wind and the leaves and I can’t wait to hear the next episode when once I escape the confines of these sheetrock walls, florescent lights and recycled air and I run as fast as I can to the shade of those magnificent trees and nestle myself down at their feet and watch Palemale go to sleep as we both listen to the happy news to be told by those never tiring little story-telling leaves.