Sunday, November 28, 2010

On Leaves

It's kind of ironic really that I'm going over the O. Henry story "The Last Leaf" with some of my classes right at the time that the shrubs and trees in my yard are valiantly trying to hold on to their last leaves.

There's one small bush that has lost all but one of its leaves and it's holding on to that leaf as if the world depended on its keeping it in place. It's a bright beacon of glowing red on an otherwise brown and bare tangle of branches.

Definitely a lesson to be learned, both from the story and from my bush, a lesson about determination and not giving in. A lesson about keeping the faith even when the odds seem to be against you. A lesson about how even something as small as one little leaf can have far reaching consequences.

For a view of some of those "last leaves," may I suggest a look out your window. For the story, please go to


Anonymous said...

Would not be unhappy if I didn't see another dead or dying leaf until never. Spent a miserable afternoon raking them up from all over the sidewalks and yard and I'm sure there will be some new ones tomorrow. Sort of like snow to me. I don't mind seeing a picture in a book or on television but I really don't like it up close and personal.

Anonymous said...

A frum person doing their own yardwork? Raking leaves? Clearly doesn't live in Brooklyn or the 5 towns. Probably not BC either. Has to be OOT. Solve your problem and move to one of these places and you'll never have to rake up leaves again.

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

A frum person reading O. Henry? ;-)

Thanks for this. I got a complete O. Henry in one large volume as a bar mitzvah gift from a teacher colleague of my mother's. I treasured the friendship of that teacher, and the book. It still sits on our shelf. Maybe it's time I take it down again and read a story or two.