Green Leaves

Good fortune this morning included watching a group of wild turkey move, in that tribal way they often have, down alongside the small hillside across the road. The packed body feathers of the largest of the toms were as iridescently emerald as a peacock. Suddenly I realized that in amongst the overhanging blackberry brambles they were moving under were small pieces of green. No bigger than a grain of rice, these tiniest of leaves must have shot out this very morning.  They are the first in the valley.

I may have missed them for two reasons had fortune not intervened. First fortune, living neighbor to the large flock that also calls this valley home.  Second, not cutting the brambles last fall as I had had in mind to do.  They inhabit a part of the hillside that shares a path I use and they reach for me every time I pass by.  Theirs is not a pleasant embrace and I side-step a little dance to avoid it.  A bit of fancy footwork would't be a problem except that particular area is a slippery steepness always threatening a fall that I don't want even on the best of days.  This bramble doesn't produce many berries either, too much shade from the maples above.  But I'm not much of one to cut anything with ease and that reluctance combined with my inherent laziness left the bramble living free on the hillside bank. Free to shoot out the very first leaves of spring in our valley.

I would be hard pressed to define what holiness might be.  Deep in my heart I have a sense that to do so would be some sort of blasphemy. What I do know about what I might call sacred is from that which I experience as reverence, as moment of awe.  Maybe because some of these experiences repeat themselves without diminishing their wonder I have come to think of them as being part of this holiness.

I watch and wait for them every year.  The first green leaves.