Autumn is my favorite time of year; it seems to arouse my senses. Maybe it’s the accumulation of smells, colors, cool mornings and falling leaves. Whatever the reason, the combination is like kindling; it fuels reflection. I think of it as a rest mode; a time to consider choices I’ve made, the direction I’m heading and to evaluate my life’s purpose.
When leaves begin to change color; it is an evolution. It doesn’t happen overnight. As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, the trees know it is time to prepare for the next season. Each tree is unique in how they transition to the change, and there are a number of factors that play into the intensity of the color changes we see.
As leaves use up their food reserve from the summer months, they become stressed. When that happens, the green pigment of the leaves begin to fade allowing other colors an opportunity to be displayed. In the simplest terms, light levels and stored up sugar reserves are primarily responsible for fall foliage colors.
Sunny autumn days bring the brightest color displays. Overcast days yield more yellows and browns. And with certain trees, such as the oak, the brown color displayed is a by-product of waste left in the leave when the warm, summer months end.
I don’t know about you, but the vibrant red and orange colored leaves are my favorites; and, a combination of the two displays an impression that can be overwhelming and hard to forget. I liken it to God’s light (salvation) and God’s Word. When our heart is illuminated to the light of Jesus an infusion process begins. The feeder veins of our spiritual heart begin to seek out God’s Word; to hide the Word in our heart as a reserve to nourish us in seasons of drought, change and times of trouble.
As you experience the beauty of the autumn season, I encourage you to look beyond the colorful red, purple and orange leaves so prominently displayed. Take a moment to seek out the brown colors that are hidden in the backdrop of the scenery; visualize each leave as someone in desperate need of a friend, comfort or encouragement. Let your light in Christ renew, transform and color someone’s heart with hope.
May the light of God shine upon, and within, me to breathe life into the brownness (the waste) of a precious soul (the leaf) before it withers, and it falls off the tree. Let me impact the dark and drab brownness of someone’s life today. Let me slow dance my way into autumn and find an opportunity to embrace those who are experiencing a dry season; a season lacking in color. Amen.
Psalm 89:15 “Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.”