Watching the melia

by | May 18, 2011 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

May 18

It all happened pretty fast. There’s nothing like a good wind storm to shake the trees and reduce them to naked branches. Only three weeks ago, the melia tree outside my window looked as if its leaves would hold on forever.

April 27

For sure, they were turning yellow, but still they formed a good head of foliage.

April 18

 I’d been watching them for some time, hoping to chart a gradual process of leaf-change. But as you will see from these photos, the leaves looked very similar through April after an initial yellowing in late March.

April 7

March 30
March 8

What happens inside a leaf, to suddenly weaken it so that it can no longer hold fast to the branches? What is it inside ourselves that suddenly weakens, so that we can no longer hold on after weeks, months or even years of heroic endeavour? Maybe we too, like the leaves, need to discover our limits, to loosen and let go, fall to the ground and make compost, and in this way regenerate our fertility and capacity to grow anew.


  1. Lynley

    Hi Juliet,

    I, too, have a Melia tree that I watch closely here in Porirua. My tree is just beginning to lose its leaves from the top down. Very few are yellow attesting to the mild weather we have enjoyed this year but they leaves are drying instead.

    How would you extend your metaphor to encompass the second drop the Melia makes as it sheds the stick like things that the leaves attach to? They remind me of stick insects.

    I’m glad I found your blog.
    Best wishes

  2. juliet

    Thanks for your comments Lynley. It’s nice to know that someone else is watching a Melia tree! I’ll watch out for the second drop – thanks for alerting me to that.


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