There is a special beauty in the form and structure of a bare tree after it has dropped its annual crop of leaves. Like the beauty of a classical statue, one can see the truth of its bones. Leaves, for all of their movement and color, veil the beauty of branches and buds.
Looking at a bare tree is a study in pure potential.
All of the life drawn inwards to the wood and roots as it prepares itself to weather another season of freezing cold and winter storms. It has strengthened itself without becoming brittle. It has released its sheaf of ice and snow catching leaves which would weight it and break it in winter’s icy winds.
Isn’t it ironic that as we add layer upon woolen and fleecy layer to weather winter’s worst days, the trees are shedding their summer garb to survive the months ahead? Left to themselves, the leaves gather and drift into brown and crinkled blankets, insulating and nourishing their own roots.
And those roots hold the life of the tree and promise of another spring. No matter if branches break or get pruned. Life will flow again in the rising sap to grow back and grow more than ever before. The buds of new life are forming even during the seeming sleep of winter. Look closely, and you’ll see those buds swelling on every twig.
Now we return to the season of lacy silhouette, drawn against the ever changing skies. Perfect algorithms of division and multiplication reveal themselves. Each family of tree revealing its own peculiar geometry and idiosyncratic proofs and promise of the coming season’s growth.
Seed pods, nuts, fruits, and cones still clinging to twigs guard the seeds of another generation in wait; suspended between autumn and spring; each containing the entire blueprint of the whole encrypted in microscopic perfection.
Those who know Pirsig understand this blurring of science and art; philosophy and living technology.
The world is not one or another. It is all. Only in sensing the all do we begin to understand its poetry of perfection.
“The world comes to us in an endless stream of puzzle pieces that we would like to think all fit together somehow, but that in fact never do.”
Robert M. Pirsig
“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of the mountain, or in the petals of a flower. To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha – which is to demean oneself.”
All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2013