Classification or Beautification

If I never see another leaf again, it will be too soon.

My daughter finished her leaf identification project today- the one that was assigned almost 3 weeks ago.  Yes, if my parents are reading this they are shaking their heads- I, too, have procrastinated practically from the crib. 

Of course, she needed help figuring out which leaves were lobed and which ones had pennant-like veins, and whether the edges were smooth or had teeth.  I think I’ve visited every tree identification site on the web, and my poor old book I used when I was a kid is falling apart.

I actually remembered some stuff, too.  My favorite leaves are from the tulip tree, with it’s unique V on the top.  I also like the sassafras leaves, because they look like mittens.  Aspens are neat too, they appear to turn colors when they blow in the wind. 

On second thought, I will miss the leaves on the trees when they’ve all fallen off and the horizon is lined with bare branches.  In helping with the project, I was fascinated with the great variety of trees, even in this regional area.  Each species has a uniquely shaped leaf, unique flowers, fruit, and bark.  This time of year they have unique colors as well. 

The differences serve little practical purpose, outside of providing fruits and nuts to eat.  So why would God take the trouble to create such infinite variety and design?

I think He did it just for His children.  I think He knew we would enjoy the glittering aspen, the brilliant red maple, the mighty white oak.  Just like the rest of His creation, He stretched His cosmic paintbrush across the sky just for our pleasure. 

On third thought, I am looking forward to the drive to church tomorrow, because the road leading to the church is lined with brilliantly colored trees, and I intend to enjoy God’s handiwork.  

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