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Dyeing Leaves

I woke this morning to find the trees had grown weary of their summer looks. Green was so very last season, after all. As we slept, they dyed their plumage with the most vibrant colors—orange, burnt yellow, and neon rust. The trend started with one young restless and fashion-forward tree and swept through the populace like celebrity gossip. Admiration spiked with envy and the need for human fawning spur the trees to be as eye-catching as their neighbors. And now they preen and sway for the cameras, vying for prominence on our social media. Clearly, they have forgotten from previous years the consequences of such brilliant peacockery. The dye, though lovely now, will cause their foliage to fall out, leaving their twiggy scalps bare. Only then will they remember, and embarrassment will turn them inward to spend the frosty months knitting blossom caps to don the next spring until their leaves grow back. The evergreens refrain from hopping on the bandwagon, yawning at such need to compete for attention. But then, they don’t discuss in polite company how their rich green needles and thick sap expose them to other seasonal perils. Such lengths the trees go to impress us, changing their looks each season to remain relevant and adored. It’s as if they understand beauty and visual market value and wish to matter in a world of human vanity.