Inspired by a post to Capital Naturalist, and indulging my delight with Curiosity Walks, on October 1st I began what I hoped would be a month of #DailyLeaf.
Day 1: All the leaves are green. I checked my assumptions, realizing I was focused on charismatic brilliant foliage, of which there wasn’t much. I began to notice the variations in green and the lone leaves, early harbingers of things to come. I named as many of the trees and shrubs as I could, and realized how many I could not. I wondered: are blades of grass leaves? (I decided yes, because: Leaves of Grass.) I attended to what was overlooked and delighted in the small, unremarkable leaves hiding in plain sight. I thought: this is going to be fun.
Days 2 – 7: If you change your point of view, you will see something new. (Click on individual images for captions.)
Day 8: The danger of a single story. I spent the last few days in Chicago at the Third Coast Conference, communing with 800 of my closest new radio and podcasting friends. It was a lot of time spent cooped up indoors, but my world opened up nonetheless. Much of the discussion revolved around questions of power and whose stories get told anyway. I’ve been thinking about Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s wisdom about the dangers of a single story, the risks inherent in the very idea of a daily leaf. Attentive to perspective.
Day 9 – 14: The things we carry The theme was inescapable: my daily leaves were all about what gets picked up and carried along, what is borne. Sometimes we call that treasure, sometimes baggage. This week, in this way, they all seemed like gems to me.
Day 15 – 20 : Every leaf is different. At some point, the unconscious became conscious: I would try to find different types of leaves for every day that remains.
Bonus: The nice thing about choosing to be curious is that you’re bound to notice something interesting, even if it wasn’t what you thought you were looking for. #DailyLeaf #NotALeaf
Day 21 – 26: Fall is in the air. The usual suspects are finally turning, but having “found” them already, my attention is going to leaves I might not otherwise think of…
Day 27: Mindfulness shared is mindfulness multiplied. Folks have known that my daily perambulations have included attention to leaves. A few may have taken up the practice themselves. I recommend it. Such an easy, appreciative way to go about the world. Such delights to be found. D. spotted this ginkgo leaf on the sidewalk as we headed out for dinner and a movie…
Day 28 – 30: The final stretch. I could already tell I would miss this practice…
Day 31: To all the leaves I ever loved, thanks for being there, whichever you are, wherever you are. You are home for me.