A lesson in self-preservation — take it from the trees

From a real smart guy. I can’t write like this anymore

Jim McKeever

Why did these leaves wait until there was snow on the ground to fall?

It’s never too late to learn a lesson you snoozed through in high school biology.

Especially when it provides a metaphor that smacks you upside the head.

The science: When trees shed their leaves in autumn, there’s more going on than cold temperatures and wind wreaking havoc. Deciduous trees are wired for “abscission,” an active process of willful shedding that keeps them alive so they can bloom again in spring.

Last Saturday morning, as I looked out my kitchen window and listened to the coffee maker gurgle, a strong breeze whipped the leaves off the trees by the hundreds. They darted every which way before settling onto the snow-covered ground.

It’s dangerous to think too much before coffee, as it can lead to mixed metaphors. So be it. Here goes:

A prevailing mindset is that outside forces take things from us…

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