Autumn Reflections

17 10 2010


North Quabbin Woods, MA, 2010


Much is made of autumn’s clear relationship to death. For some, this is reason enough to discount the season and its joys. But perhaps even those who cannot dare to contemplate death – in general or their own – can begin to learn the lessons autumn brings about dealing with aging.

As leaves in the northern hemisphere die, their green chlorophyll retreats, uncovering the glorious other colors that were there all along. These pigments capitalize on the weaker, slanted light of Fall to capture the final food of the growing season. Just so, as we age, some things fall away, such as youthful innocence and energy. If, however, we are attentive to our own autumn’s rewards, we can unmask the wisdom and perseverance that grew beneath the initial protection of our earlier strengths.

When leaves finish their work and fall the ground, they become rich food for many creatures and fertilization for next summer’s green leaves. Just so, even as we mourn the ending of chapters in our lives, their fruit will enrich the seasons to come with knowledge and experience.

Finally, even as the trees are laid bare, we can recognize in this vulnerable landscape the new and different beauty of honesty and character that lays beneath our fleeting appearances and remains when all our vanities are stripped away. This is the hardest lesson for many of us to accept, and a concept that even the young (like myself) struggle with as they reach new milestones.

It is my prayer that we can all enjoy the physical and spiritual rewards of autumn’s finery, this year and every year going forward, until we smile at is comforting messages in our lives.

Autumn is a second spring
Where every leaf is a flower
~ Albert Camus




4 responses

18 10 2010
Wayne Schmoyer

LOVE the Camus quote!

As for aging – PAH! Saturday I moved 11 Garden Cart loads of firewood, and stacked it, in 2 hours flat…no huffing and puffing! Later we had the first fir of the season in the wood stove…COME ON AUTUMN!

18 10 2010
Susan S.

So many autumn pleasures: The crunch of colorful leaves under foot, the honk of geese flying overhead, the smell of something roasting in the oven, the smell of woodsmoke, the promise of mulled apple cider….

3 01 2015

What litinaberg knowledge. Give me liberty or give me death.

6 01 2015
auto insurance

It’s great to find someone so on the ball

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