Some trees in our woodland hold their turning in abeyance until late November. Many of the great oaks retain their russet and bronze leaves well into winter, and so do a few maples. One of my favorites always puts on a magnificent golden performance at this time of the year, and I visit her to marvel at her one woman showing and say "thanks" for her efforts to brighten up a drab, faded and rather monochromatic interval in the turning of the seasons.
Himself has just been admitted to hospital again, and the maple's gilded presence is a particular comfort to Spencer and I this time around. It has been a windy autumn, and we were delighted to discover this week that the north wind has not yet stripped the tree's leaves away and left her standing bare and forlorn with her sisters in their native place.
Mother Earth (the Old Wild Mother or Gaia Sophia) is the greatest artist of them all, and I would be "over the moon" if I could photograph or paint something even the smallest scrip as grand and elemental and graceful as my tree is creating in her alcove - every curve and branch and burnished dancing leaf is a wonder.
Writing this, I remembered that as well as being an archaic word for a scrap or fraction of something, scrip also describes a small wallet or pouch once carried by pilgrims and seekers. That seems fitting for this journey into the woods and our breathless standing under Maple in all her glory. Oh to be counted a member of the sisterhood of tree and leaf...