Robin and I have what appears to be a freak of nature right here in our own backyard. A giant white oak close to our deck is beginning to leaf out now. However, sticking out among all the buds and long yellow tassels dangling from nearby branches is one small twig whose leaves at the end are now completely mature and green.
How could this twig be so different from the “mother branch” to which it is attached? In fact, the entire tree is only budding. There are no more mature leaves anywhere on it.
What’s really interesting is that there is another white oak about fifty feet away whose leaves are now all mature and green, just like that little twig’s. Robin and I have laughed and said it’s like that little twig was “kidnapped” from the other tree.
There’s a lesson here, I think. Children are not always like their biological parents. Genetic factors do play an important role in their physical and mental development, but environment and experiences are just as important.
Who knows? That little twig may have seen the other tree all leafed out and decided to leaf out too. What child or young person may be watching you today?