I like to re-post this reflection at this time of year. I initially wrote this piece three years ago. Well, guess what? These very trees below are bright orange again, so I love to share once more.
Some reflection questions for me and from me this time around:
-How is beauty revealing itself in your life right now? Perhaps vibrantly? Perhaps surprisingly or stunningly?
-How can beauty call us to our roots, making space for new possibilities? These leaves are a prelude to new leaves that will follow, even if we can’t see them yet. How do we let this beauty speak to the present moment? And to our roots? And to possibility?
I had a total geekout yesterday about these trees.
When I walked out of the gym, I just stood there, stunned that so many gorgeous fall leaves were present in one place. Of course, I did more than just stand there. I took a bunch of photos and recorded a goofy, geekout video on Snapchat.
Beyond the worthy geekout, however, these trees also remind me of something. I think they’re a valuable symbol, especially if we feel fatigued or on edge during this season.
Every autumn, trees reveal their vibrant colors
when their energy is shifted toward their roots.
All spring and summer, leaves gather energy for sustenance and growth through their photosynthesis process. When the autumn begins, leaves don’t really turn red, orange, yellow, and brown. They are revealed to be red, orange, yellow, and brown. In preparation for winter, deciduous trees stop their photosynthesis process. As a result, the accompanying color of green recedes, and we see the revealed colors of these leaves. This process prepares for the winter season in which roots can continue to thrive and grow.
When we see the vibrant colors of autumn, we might also make spiritual analogies and ponder our own rooting process.
As we think about the present moment we’re living, and the future we want to live,
What forms of energy do we need to shed?
What forms of energy do we need to pursue?
To what and to whom are we rooted?
With what and with whom are we connected?
How can a sense of groundedness reveal beauty?
How can rootedness help us see the worth and value of our neighbors?
During this season, when we see the trees (and potentially, have a geekout) perhaps we can ponder these kinds of questions. As I watch trees make these changes, I like to imagine that their energy and focus is moving into the ground — into the most foundational parts of being — and I find myself wanting to do the same.
What do we need to bring inside ourselves toward the most foundational parts of our being?
in the midst of divisiveness?
in the midst of strife?
in the midst of cynicism?
in the midst of violence?
in the midst of anxiety?
Let’s ponder these when we see the leaves.