The sky is not quite white or gray today. It hangs overhead as a solid color with no gradation, completely flat. It feels like I could reach up and touch the center of the sky and that my hand would then look like I had dipped it in a bucket of cold, wet plaster. But below this plaster veil, what remains of the fall leaves is stunning.They pop with extra vibrance. It is as if, they have been plugged in. Chartreuse greens, electric golds and my favorite vermillion sprinkled in-between. There are now trees that are completely bare. They have shed this year’s story. Their bare branches and sticks remain exposed against the cold sky. I am learning, ever so slowly to appreciate the message of fall. I know many who love this season. They are finally getting to me and opening my eyes. I have refused to see nothing but death and sadness this time of year. I have struggled and battled with the sense of loss I feel this time of year. Perhaps since my birthday is this season, I say goodbye to another year of my life, see goals not realized, and vainly when I look in the mirror or down at my hands wrinkled hands with knobby knuckles that time has indeed passed- it is all so very selfish. I am fortunate to have lived to the point where the lines on my face remind me of the fullness of my life- the magical days, the impossible days and all of those in-between. I am lucky enough to have these old looking hands to turn the soil, hold a paint brush, hug my beautiful children, hold Chris’ old worn hands, pet my loyal and loving dogs and write to searching for perspective.
It is just so still outside. The Aspen leaves just droop, nothing is moving. It is looks like time has stopped for a brief period. But beyond the white plaster sky, the busyness of the world is tremendously overwhelming. To think of all the motion going on globally, it seems impossible that these leaves can be so still. Can’t they feel the parents’ sobbing for their child who just passed away, can’t they feel the laughter from the playground down the street, can’t they feel the buzz of the highway, can’t they feel the oceans crashing to shore thousands of miles away. Or perhaps they are too tired? They are done telling their story. They will drop to the earth and slowly disintegrate into the soil to feed next years growth. Soon the trees they fall from will be standing with their limbs and twisted twigs exposed. They will look vulnerable but will be lighter and more prepared to take on the harshness of winter. Their time for providing protective shade isn’t needed now. We can see their beautiful lines reaching up to the sky. We can see how they have grown and become their beautiful, unique form even with cracks and knots and scars. As I age, I can see the value of this season. It is still uncomfortable, but becomes more beautiful each year. I am grateful to all of you who have shared your love of this season with me. You are helping my branches grow.