Of course the visual hues dazzle. One cannot help but to exclaim some sort of wonderment when driving down the road and an exceptional sunset maple in all of the deep oranges and reds peers at you through the golden hues of the pin oaks and locust trees. The streets lined with these trees seem to glow in the mornings and evenings as the sun peaks through the leaves casting a warm pink hue upon the travelers below. Oh, and a divine burning bush, bursting forth scarlet red from the usually overlooked side foundation. I must admit there is a certain emotion that comes over you in the fall, is it childhood nostalgia? Is it a sigh of relief that we have once again made it to the fourth quarter? Is it because we finally take a moment to look around ourselves and see life changing before our very eyes? So quickly, so suddenly and it is here just as many things in our lives just somehow happen. In these moments we can savor the sweet fragrance of life in all of its glory.
On the other side of the coin we have the evergreens just showing signs, in the past few weeks, of the drought stress they have endured. Many evergreens such as Blue Spruce and Hemlock are showing the stress as many limbs yellow and droop. White Pine casually cast off up to 1/3 of their needles each year with no thought of injury, though this season they are acting like exhibitionists and I am begging them to quite! Even our evergreens, which normally keep their comments held until winter, are throwing out a degree of – “Here we are – and we are hurting”! The extension offices have said, “at this point it will be a waiting game to see how they recover for spring”. Again, just in life, we have the other side – As this season warms the hearts of some, others are left longing. I know the place where the sunrise and the warmth on your face are almost unrecognizable through the pain, the sadness.
I see us in the trees, our lives, our joys, our battles, and our victories and yes our sorrows. When I see the limb of the Blue Spruce hanging sadly with a melancholy cast to the needles, I know it is hurting and it reminds me of a friend. The feeling of a heavy heart drapes you with compassion and the longing to be of help. To ease the hardship, acknowledge the loss, all the while knowing – these are the changes of life that none of us are really in control of. Just like the garden, our trees flourish, they struggle, they change and somehow, through it all, they carry on.
I do not know about you, but I LOVE the FALL!! And to be true to my core values, when asked what is my favorite plant, I will tell you “it depends”. Just as if you asked what is my favorite season, I will tell you – “The one I am in.” The seasons of my life have not always been sunshine and rainbows and I do not know of one person whose life has. The colors on the trees deepen and the season progresses, I am thankful. Thankful for the victories I have won. Thankful I am present to encourage another’s life. Thankful I can await another season of hope. I have the battle scars of life – I do not think one of us gets out of this world without them – we can have solace in knowing – Just as the trees will emerge once again in the spring to abundant new life, so will we.