A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves…
Fall marks a time of magnificent landscape changes in many parts of North America and I was keen to partake of its beauty during a recent visit there. The drive along upstate New York was magical with trees lining the roads wrapped in golden hues. Along the way, we spent some time at the Lake Taghkanic State Park and Bowdain Park.
Albert Camus described autumn as “a second spring when every leaf is a flower”. What opulent bouquets the leaves of autumn do create, from brown and red to orange and yellow!
This vibrant cluster of leaves constantly changes hue through the different colors of the autumn season, from brown and red to orange and yellow. It’s a gorgeous palette of every of color that nature can think of.
The trees were wrapped in golden hues with a backdrop that’s so perfect, as if the landscape was posing for a picture. It is tempting to think of autumn in static frames captured through the lens of the camera. But it is only a passing phase..
With winter around the corner the trees will face punishingly cold temperatures and frigid winds, conditions that would damage the leaves. Hence the trees have to pare themselves to their toughest parts; stems, trunks and branches. Leaves must fall.
As I watch leaves fluttering to the ground, I wonder whether these cycles of nature are mirrored in our lives.
Our lives also have cycles. There are times we hold on to, and there are the times that we have to learn to let go. When we do let go of the things, we also make room for new things to enter our lives.
But, while it seems beautiful for the trees to let go of all those lovely leaves, we rarely think of the letting go in our own lives as being beautiful. Often, we simply view it through the lens of loss. It hurts to let go, so we hold on, even if all we have left to hold onto are our memories of those feelings.
Autumn reminds us of the impermanence of everything. We have experienced the budding of life in spring and the flowerings and profusions of summer. Now the leaves fall and bare branches remain.
Thoreau said it eloquently: “Nature now, like an athlete, begins to strip herself in earnest for her contest with her great antagonist winter. In the bare trees and twigs what a display of muscle.”
The trees will stand erect, ready for a renewal.
There is a wonderful story of spiritual masters in Tibet who used to set their teacups upside down before they went to bed each night as a reminder that all life was impermanent. And then, when they awoke each morning, they turned their teacups right side up again with the happy thought, 'I'm still here!'
This simple gesture was a wonderful reminder to celebrate every moment of the day.
Autumn leaves are a sight to see,
Adorning every tree
In hues of orange and gold
Falling gently on the ground
Forming elegant iridescent carpets. . .
Take a minute to appreciate the beauty of fall foliage by scrolling through these photos at: