We have been blessed with some beautiful autumn weather these last two weeks. I think if I had to choose my favourite time of year, this would be it: warm days, cool nights; brilliant trees and still-green grass.
For the past month, I have been keeping an eye on an amazingly colourful maple tree on my way to work. It’s a yearly landmark for me. I haven’t had time to stop for a photograph–always in too much of a rush to get to where I’m going, or to stay ahead of the school bus just behind me. In early September, it looked as if someone had taken a red Crayola marker and coloured just a few leaves a crazy red. Awesome. As the season progresses, it becomes redder and redder, with enough dark green lurking in the background to make it even more vibrant. It looks best in the morning light, on my way to work, because the sun hits it just right. On my way home today, it was gloomy and drizzly, and I forgot to look its way.
When I drove into my own driveway today, I noticed the transformation of the forest on our property. The colours are starting to come out: there are maples for oranges, greens and yellows; oaks for a slow-burning brown; sumac and blackberry bushes for startling reds. I took this picture at the edge of the bush. The yellow tree might be a mulberry, I’m not sure, and I don’t know what the vine is, but the colours drew me in. One of my daughters asked me if I was going to paint it. I don’t know–maybe I will. I haven’t painted in two and a half years, so maybe it’s time.
Maybe autumn days are God’s way of reminding me not to forget the lessons I’ve already learned. Like so many good things, I worry they will be gone before I feel I’ve had the chance to fully appreciate them. Maybe I just need to savour them while they’re here, store away the memories, and leave myself open to whatever will come next.