Frost edges the fallen oak and sycamore leaves in the early morning. Some are like Christmas cookies—gingerbread men with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
The redbud tree has dropped all its heart-shaped leaves and is draped now with seed pods that will eventually drop tiny black seeds after the winds of winter sufficiently weather their shiny sides.
The crape myrtle grew up past the second story windows this year. Every branch was loaded with deep pink blossoms and each flower produced a seed in its own little wooden shell. I love the arrays of seed stems—maybe even more than I love the perfumed flowers.
Pecans don’t fall until the hulls around the nuts have dried and split open. You can spot pecan trees among leaf-bare trees because the branches hold the open hulls against the sky like flowers with pointed brown petals.
Thistles bend their heads like church-goers and become feeding stations for goldfinches and other birds. Some seeds fly away when wild winds howl and some drop to the ground. A bird nest forsaken in a sapling is now a haphazard arrangement of twigs cradling a fallen weathered leaf.
The earth cycles through seasons as God promised Noah it would. There is no better stage on which to watch the show than on an Oklahoma farm where the sunrise and sunset can be seen, where trees follow the prescribed pattern of lengthening and shortening days, where wind blows famously, wildflowers bloom, and cows and horses graze on waving grasses.