Today in my town, we had the “first leaf blower” (defined in my homeland as the first gust from the north from mid-October to the end of November that blows due to wintery pressure pattern on the weather chart).
Actually, the direct translation of the term would be the “first tree witherer,” for the gust is so strong it blows the leaves off of deciduous trees and make them appear withered. But when I hear the word, the image that comes to my mind is of autumn leaves in different colours leaping off of branches to dance lively in swirling winds before they find their preferred places to settle. Does this not remind you of a leaf-blower, a gardening tool that blows air out of a nozzle to move large amounts of leaves so they can be collected quicker than a broom?
Besides, the trees with their leaves blown off do not really wither, they just start getting ready to bud and bloom next spring. I understand that it is necessary for them to let go of old leaves so they can slim up to avoid damages from dry winds, frost bites, and heavy snows and live to see another day. Does it not make you feel the gust is not a cold and bitter slap that crushes all dreams the trees have of their future, but rather a warm and kind hand that rocks the trees to sleep a while so they can gather enough strength for new growth in the coming times?
So, I felt the one translation most fitting to describe this gust would be the “leaf blower” and not the “tree witherer” – what do you think?
Maybe it is a seasonal reference for winter, being the most distinct indicator of the arrival of winter in our culture.
Maybe it is so cold and bitter when first encountered, it will make you feel like all hopes for the future are robbed and we are left standing on our own to simply wither.
But maybe if we take another look at it, we will find that it is a part of a natural cycle of life and it actually brings us together (albeit by stormy conditions) to forge ahead.
Maybe since it will blow when its season comes whether we like it or not, we might as well take it to mean well and make the best out of it.
Today I witnessed an unexpectedly strong wind blow all over a nation across the ocean. Maybe the result worries the onlookers that the tree will wither due to this cold and bitter gust. But whether we like it or not, it blew. We are already seeing its consequences, with many leaves being blown in every which way all over the world.
Then, maybe all we can hope for is that, when the gust stops, all leaves will settle united in their preferred places surrounded with warmth and kindness… and come next spring, we will be relieved to see it has all been translated into new growth, finding many buds and blooms are on the tree just as we would any other year.
Maybe it will not be an easy translation, but I think a clear image and a good understanding will surely guide the way to finding the one most fitting.