poetry, Travel

An Amazing Tree is a Symbol of Hope, Peace, and Endurance

path with several ginkgo yellow trees
Ginkgo tree lined path-flickr.com cc

Half the month of October is gone, fallen by the wayside like the autumn leaves.

My favorite autumn tree is the Ginkgo. It’s a tree I rarely see where I live, but abundant in Denver where I frequently visit my kids.

There is a Ginkgo tree in China that is 3,500 years old (give or take a decade). In China, the ginkgo  is a symbol of hope and peace.

After Hiroshima, Japan was bombed in 1945, the only living trees were a few Ginkgoes, which are presently alive. In Japan, the tree is symbolic of endurance and vitality.

An interesting aside, for book lovers, is a Japanese tradition. The ginkgo leaves were used as book markers as they are believed to drive away silverfish and other pests from paper.

During my last writing retreat, we had a free write of three minutes. I thought of Gingko trees.

Leaves shimmer gold

on a living fossil

Shaken by winds

of atomic magnitude

jolting earth, quake of destruction

Rises again, moves

across Asia to my world

 Saffron reminders

of hope and peace,

 gentle as a baby’s yawn

Lights the path with a glowing aura

gives itself for my delight.

To see some gorgeous photos, check these out:  An Ancient Chinese Ginkgo Tree Drops an Ocean of Golden Leaves.

Peace and hope for the rest of October.


Family, poetry, Travel

Leaf Storm

Leaf storm
Leaf storm

On my first couple of days in Colorado, in a suburb outside Denver, I experienced the pleasure of a leaf storm from the Maples, Sycamores , and Gingko Biloba trees around my kids neighborhood. About twelve years ago, I had a similar experience in Franconia, New Hampshire. I was lost in the experience and my memory blurs yellow and umber hues. This time I stood in the swirl of colors, breathing in the subtle scents of bark, dew, and firewood smoke.

My son had to remind me that I was in the center of the parking lot of his apartment, and a car just drove into the complex. I took a deep breath, entered his car and searched in my purse for something to write with and a piece of paper. I found my pen and the back of his college tuition bill where I released my breath and words onto paper.

Leaf Storm

Leaf storm in the park
Leaf storm in the park

It’s raining leaves,

russet, gold, burnt orange

snap, crackle, pop

like Rice Krispies

on cold black asphalt,

tumbling crazily

likes lemmings on the way

to a sure death

from a wayward boot

an uncaring rubber tire

a steel rake.

With luck

a flock of children,

a wayward dog

dives into a heap of leaf fire,

red and gold angel wings,

shrieks of joy,

releasing autumn

into memory,


Road Between Autumn Trees
Road Between Autumn Trees


I love Colorado.