The Autumn Leaves

The time of the falling leaves has come again. Once more in our morning walk we tread upon carpets of gold and crimson, of brown and bronze, woven by the winds or the rains out of these delicate textures while we slept.
How beautifully the leaves grow old! How full of light and color are their last days! There are exceptions, of course. The leaves of most of the fruit-trees fade and wither and fall ingloriously. They bequeath their heritage of color to their fruit. Upon it they lavish the hues which other trees lavish upon their leaves….
But in October what a feast to the eye our woods and groves present! The whole body of the air seems enriched by their calm, slow radiance. They are giving back the light they have been absorbing from the sun all summer.

~ John Burroughs, “The Falling Leaves,” Under the                                                               Maples
 
You are to follow only God, your God, hold him in deep reverence, keep his commandments, listen obediently to what he says, serve him—hold on to him for dear life!
            ~ Deuteronomy 13:4
 
     There is so much truth in John Burroughs’ statement.  How beautifully the leaves grow old.  They sing until the last moment, but not of their own beauty, they praise God as they drift or blow or fall.  They may not know it as we do, but they return to the ground only to be raised again.
     When a young leaf is plucked before its time, even though the one who removes it may be studying, drawing, tracing, pressing or making a leaf bouquet, we don’t seem to feel the loss so keenly.  Unless that leaf is a child, or a person seemingly taken before their time.  This does not take away from their beauty, it makes the heart ache longingly.
     I lost a student a few years ago who loved wearing purple, loved to laugh, and insisted that people wear colorful clothing at her funeral, She died at the age of 9.  And what a colorful path she left.  Many of my friends have lost young loved ones.  The hardest loss of all seems to be a parent who outlives their child.
   They make our path more beautiful, fill our world with color, heighten the contrasts of our lives.  I have a friend who is past 80 whose voice is, as I call it, “a hot tub for the soul.” She continues to take instruction in voice as do so many amazing professionals, to keep her instrument tuned.  Her path is strewn with beautiful song for the Lord she loves.
     No matter what path you are on today, take time to appreciate the leaves that cling still to the branch, and those that have fallen.  They gives us beauty now, and when they rise again.
The Autumn Leaves – Roger Williams
     Because of Him,
     Linda
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