The Red Maple Tree Vs. The Gusty Winds

Red Maple

Red Maple ©2008 Bo Mackison

A few days ago I spent a long part of the day watching the outside from my window. Framed, there stood my red maple, not a big tree, but not small either. We planted it a decade ago, and maybe then it was 8 feet tall. Now it’s as tall as our two story house.

It was a gloomy day and the wind was twisting the tree every which way. Hard wind, gusty. Gray skies – a taste of what’s soon to come. The darn tree just stood there, and took all nature had to blow her way. Didn’t drop a leaf. Not one. I watched as the leaves all clung tight. I watched that tree for hours – it was that kind of day.

Yesterday the sun was bright, the skies blue and there was barely a whisper of breeze. As I looked at the tree, not a leaf was even rustling. The sun glistened on the leaves, highlighting their cinnamony-red color, and it was quite the resplendent image. But not for long. The leaves began to drop like crazy, gently twirling into a big pile at the foot of the tree.

Was nature offering me a teaching moment? What to make of the fact that with it so beautiful and quiet – now it was time for the tree to start shedding her finery?

Maybe earlier I needed to see an example of strength (the tree holding tight to her leaves) versus adversity (the high winds.)

And yesterday, the time was right to watch the leaves just let go and fall.

Life’s lessons are all around us, if we only pay attention.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I’m concerned for you at times, especially after reading something like the above post. I hope all is well.

  2. Life’s metaphors and lessons are everywhere. I like to look at this time of year as the season of ‘letting go’. Stunning color in this tree!

  3. Such a pretty tree. It is an interesting tale. I guess the leaves will fall when they are ready and not a moment sooner.

  4. Beautiful color in that tree.

    And a profound lesson in life.

  5. Autumn brings out the introspective. One could learn much watching a tree and what it teaches. “Life’s lessons are all around us, if we only pay attention.” I agree. Lovely tree, by the way.

  6. Interesting pix & your commentary certainly sparked some nice introspection on my part.

  7. What a beautiful color! How wonderful that the leaves stayed while you needed them, and when you could be distracted by a beautiful day, they dropped. Nature is amazing.

  8. Each journey outdoors brings new insights if, as you say, we pay attention. Autumn tends to bring out my moodier side where I tend to ponder each event to death.

  9. That is one red tree. Not for long though, right?

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