Many reference leaves to outline change. When leaves beautifully fade in and out of hues they tell a story. When they are vibrant and bright as the colours of cool fall days, they share the moments leading up to the colder days in which they will then fall silently before our eyes. One by one, season by season, leaves die before our eyes and all we see are their colours. We see the reds and the yellows like in this photo but nothing more.
Now imagine walking through Central Park, just before sunset on a late August day with your dog. Or biking through Toronto’s very own James Garden in West Etobicoke on an early Sunday morning in April. To take a moment in which you enjoy the fresh breeze away from the skyscrapers and the noises that never stop going. I do this often and the leaves, the leaves create an environment where the air is fresher and nothing else matters but that moment.
Leaves share to us in a colourful way the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the silent process in which leaves absorb light energy to produce to our plant systems food and oxygen. By absorbing energy through their chloroplasts, leaves use the energy to decompose water into its elements, hydrogen and oxygen. If you look closely at our leaf above in the sunlight, you see how it is absorbing light energy into its chlorophyll – the substance that gives leaves their colour. Eventually the clean oxygen produced from the leaf replaces the atmosphere’s congested oxygen through its stomata pores, which you can see highlighted in our picture. And the hydrogen that the leaf obtains from water sources, combines with carbon dioxide to produce food for living organisms both plant and animal.
Without photosynthesis, this earth would shortly run out of food and other organic matter that makes our plants grow and grow. Organisms all over this earth would shortly cease to exist and there would be no more walks in beautiful parks like Millennium Park (Chicago) or Kings Park and Botanical Garden (Perth, Australia). This earth would become very dull without the leaves functioning job of photosynthesis.
Leaves are incredible story tellers because they create life while sharing art to the world. Through the days in which they shine brighter than the sun. To days where they fall one by one, weaker and thiner as the cold air gets thicker. Simply without leaves function of photosynthesis to our earth, our living organisms of all kinds would no longer exist. People would stop wandering into the parks of cool fall nights, or go exploring through the forest in the early months of spring. Leaf foliage would no longer provide a type of art to our earth but the earth, the earth would lose a deeper meaning. The earth would lose a companion of both art and life. So pay attention to the leaves, they tell incredible stories!!