What Does It Mean to Turn Over a New Leaf?

In the book, A New Leaf for Lyle, Lyle “turns over a new leaf.” He’s tired of being known as “Lyle the Liar,” and eager to earn back everyone’s trust. But what does that really mean, to “turn over a new leaf”? The idea of turning over a new leaf doesn’t really mean to flip over a leaf on a tree. The word “leaf” can refer to the paper pages of a book, and the expression originally meant to turn to a fresh, new, blank page – like in a journal or a notebook. It is a metaphor for starting over with good habits or changing your ways for the better. This meaning of “turning over a new leaf” dates back over 400 years, to around the same time Shakespeare was writing the play, Romeo and Juliet!

The author Oscar Wilde once said that he earnestly intended to turn over a new leaf, but he hadn’t gotten to the bottom of the page yet. Sometimes we mean well, but aren’t quite ready to change our ways – we haven’t finished reading to the bottom of the current page. I used to like reading – long after my bedtime – under the covers with a flashlight. I’d tell myself, “Just one more chapter…” and before long, I was halfway through the book. I thought I was getting by with something naughty, and certainly wasn’t eager to change my ways! It wasn’t until I was all grown up that my mother confessed she knew all about my reading after dark, and that she had made sure I always had fresh batteries in my flashlight.

Have you ever “turned over a new leaf”? Are you still stuck on any of the pages?

Spring Has Sprung!

anole-1Can you spot the anole, a small lizard, trying hard to blend in with the wooden fence posts? We have lots of anoles in our yard! I even spotted one running up the back of the couch in my living room, the other day. Anoles make good pets, but I prefer to let them catch their own food. Anoles like to munch on crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, and other insects. Did you know that some people like to snack on insects, too? I have never tried them, but I ordered some cricket bars the other day, and I’ll be sure to let you know if they taste good!

Anoles like to climb trees. So do I! How about you? Have you ever climbed a tree?


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