Mary Lou, the flowering dogwood outside my window, is changing color – again. Her previously green leaves, shaped with the compound curves of Pringles chips with pointy ends, are turning bright rust-colored as she shuts down the conduits that for the past few months have transported nutrition from the earth on which she stands, to be processed in those then-green solar collectors into more branches and, now, a mass of red berries among the buds that will open next spring into a glorious bouquet of pink ad white four-petaled flowers.
I watch from my writing position as three Gray Squirrels cavort in the branches, occasionally stopping to ingest a few berries. A Northern Cardinal stops by to taste a couple of those berries. I’m always surprised at how many of us partake of the fruits of that solitary tree outside my window – energizing breathing for body and soul.