Day 99: Oh My What Big Leaves You Have Sunday was a house keeping kinda day. Still not really looking like Summer but nonetheless I thought it was about time to dig out my frocks and tee-shirts so it was off to resurrect them from my friend’s lock up tucked away in the world that rubs up against the sturdy pillars of the Westway – the throbbing arterial from Central London out west. It is an unprepossessing corner of Kensington with workshops and garages beneath glowering tower blocks gashed through by the six lane motorway and the over ground underground Circle line. I was surprised to see this giant leafed tree, with pointy acorn like buds. I didn’t have my phone with me to take a photo.
At home it was cycles of washing and ironing and crafting of emails for my Uganda Project fund raising drive before being treated to a home cooked chicken dinner. Dinner was indeed delicious and worthy of much awe but it was the leaves that caught my attention and stayed with me. It was the leaves that had me journeying back to the lock up not once but twice to try and capture photos worthy of a blog post and photos that would be useful for identification. You see I had no idea what tree this might be, neither did a friend I asked. I thought it can’t be that complicated. This is not a botanical garden with rare and unusual species; this is a little kerchief of green in a concrete jungle. I thought it would be fun and perhaps garner me some dendrelogical kudos to be knowledgeable but despite hours, well perhaps an hour or two, pouring over internet pictures and attempting to answer tree identification quizes I didn’t get very far. This is a giant leaf about 20 cms long, it looks triangular with little spiky corners – like shoulder pads but that doesn’t seem to fit a recognised leaf shape template. It isn’t quite a deltoid or a cordate, perhaps a cross between a saggitate and a reniform with pointy genes of a hastate. Who knew that tree identification was so technical? I was hard pushed to describe the bark, kinda grey-brown and knobbled and the buds; well I wasn’t able to reach them let alone squeeze them to know their texture or contents. I attracted attention even taking pictures of the tree – this is where people loiter and eat chips, where plastic bags glide around the side walks and strangers taking pictures of trees are deserving of suspicion.
No doubt there is someone out there who can identify this tree at the drop of a hat. I thought I needed to be taken out of my misery but truth be told what this tree is called and how it is defined is just that – a definition, an ordering of data for orientation’s sake. It doesn’t add to the magic of the tree, the uniqueness of it’s very existence, in fact as I discovered it all takes me a long, long away from it, away from that moment when I was lost in it’s big leaved-ness and it reminded of Little Red Riding Hood and the big, big eyes of the Big Bad Wolf. Knowledge has a lot to answer for sometimes.
100 Days of Awe is a playful project I set up to bring my attention to awe in my daily life. I see awe as wonder, a mixture of amazement and respect. I expect the experience of awe to be about perception shifting awareness and that demands a reframing of some sort. I am excited to see what will awe me on this journey.
Anne K. Scott is an imagination technologist, her work to teach, facilitate and deliver innovation for individuals and business. She is the creator of FindYourMojo a FREE iPHone productivity app. If you are interested in what intuitive coaching can do for you please do contact me. I support clients all over the world.