These cottonwood leaves are opening well. They aren’t new.
Yes, opening, not “growing.” They were present all winter, tightly folded inside shells held up on limbs. There has been no break in the presence of leaves since this tree first sprouted from seed. These leaves, soon to fall, are not the only leaves.
The ones enclosed in shells do come out.
The seed that started each cottonwood tree is also a tree folded inside a shell. It’s not like a little tree folded inside there, but it has two leaves to nourish it and an embryonic root and stem. As for stems…
… they don’t grow, either. They open into themselves. Trees are devices that leaves have grown, out of themselves, to hold themselves in the sky, in the sun and the dark, in a rhythm of opening, folding and unfolding and opening, that has never closed, since life began on Earth.
This is creation. Anything else that is called creation is only a further opening of the leaf, in the great crowded throng of the world, that is opening everywhere, in such excess, even in weeds.
If you spray this leaf with herbicide you are killing creation. You can choose to do so, but the truth of it remains: you are outside of the world. From there to other fantasies is not far.
They are not openings. They are departures. Killings. The predator eating itself.