Not a lot has changed since I wrote this post ten years ago. You can still find me walking through my neighborhood with my face behind the camera taking photos of pretty fall leaves. I am still filled with awe and wonder at the glorious colors.
In this post in particular though, I am sharing how the act of photographing fall leaves turned into a real ‘a-ha’ moment. The natural world has always been one of my greatest teachers. And through her I have learned so much about the nature of things and the seasons of life. As usual, the gifts of hindsight and perspective were showing me another way to see my story. A beautiful way – full of hope and possibility. And my hope in sharing this post with you is that it encourages you in your story.
As I am sitting here typing this blog post, our Christmas tree is up and decorated. The house smells of Norfolk fir. The season is upon us.
And this change is present in the landscape as well.
In my neck of the woods, there are more leaves on the ground than are on the trees.
And the leaves that are left are slowly fading away from the brilliant reds to more subtle coppers and golds.
I don’t know if it’s just me, but seriously this fall…it has been the most beautiful. And the leaves more stunning than ever. Plus this year, the season, which to me usually only last a couple of weeks, has extended well into late November. A glorious sight to behold.
Did I ever tell you that I took a botany class? It was probably about fifteen years ago or so. Kelsey was in four-year-old preschool and we were living in our first house. I was really getting into gardening, and as usual, my quest to be an overachiever led me into a college course about plants.
I don’t remember a lot about that class, but the one thing that has stuck with me all these years was the fact that the glorious colors of fall leaves are there, present, in the leaves all other times of the year as well. It’s only as the tree begins to go dormant for the winter that the masking affect of chlorophyll diminishes and therefore allows the brightly colored pigments of xanthophylls, beta-carotene, and anthocyanin to emerge.
Pretty cool huh!
Besides the obvious wonder and joy in the brightly colored leaves, this phenomenon also speaks to me on a personal level. Because I can see in my own life how, once my obligations and day to day responsibilities of raising a child (a vocation that I wholly embraced and am eternally grateful for) started to diminish, other colors started to seep into my life.
And so today, I would just like to pay tribute to the season of fall. To the magic and wonder. To the idea of possibility and hope. For the color in my life.
Thank you November.