Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cordate Shaped

Cordate is a botanical term used to describe a leaf when it is shaped like a heart.  The most recognizable cordate shaped leaf can be found on the Redbud.  Redbuds grow relatively low in the canopy, with a height comparable to a Dogwood.  The Redbud first produces red or purple 'buds' in the spring before the leaves emerge. There are a special few spring days when the flowers are still clinging to the branches and the heart-shaped leaves are emerging.  The leaves range in color from lime green to dark purple depending on the variety. All through the Spring and Summer the branches of the Redbud are covered with garlands of hearts.  When you see them, no matter how bitter, jaded or cynical you are, it is difficult to think of anything except love.  In the Fall, the Redbuds steal the spotlight again when their leaves turn yellow.  As the breezes blow, the whole yard is dappled with yellow hearts, like a classroom strewn with construction paper hearts after the kids cut out their Valentines.  I find myself feeling sweet and happy as I rake all the hearts into a pile, I find myself singing even.... I began looking around the garden and taking stock of all the Cordate shaped leaves I could find.  And wow did I find them.  Here are just a few:

morning glory


Vine

Brunnera

Elephant ears


Redbud



My overwhelming thought was two fold.  First: Humans are always looking for signs, for proof of things, for direction, for encouragement that they are on the right track.  Humans especially yearn for these signs from the Heavens, or from God, or the Universe.  Well, if we are looking for a sign, the Cordate shaped leaves all around us just might be it.  (Isn't it sweet of the universe to communicate with us in a modern 'emoticon' kind of way that its sure we'll understand no matter which language we speak?)  There are hearts all over the plants, what should we gather from this?  For those of you who know me, this is going to shock you a little but ....I think the universe is saying:   Love really 'IS the answer,' love really IS 'all around,' what people really need IS 'more love'... you get the idea.  Maybe that verse in Corinthians that they always read at weddings isn't just about romance, maybe it's about life and how we conduct ourselves.  Maybe the 'greatest of these' really is love.  When you get to the bottom of why people want to give, to help, etc, there is love.  People want to give more love because many times people want to receive more love and as a result love, not money, becomes  the answer to a world of hurt.  Our best moments are motivated by love in some form.  Think of your power as an individual if you were brave enough to always act out of love, think about how we could mobilize people or institute change with the power of love.  Love is not risk free, but its returns are infinite.  If we are looking for a sign, if we need some direction, we've got it....It's not in the stars...it's in the trees.

"Time is how you spend your love."  Zadie Smith

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