Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn Musings

A mere few weeks ago the Aspen are lemon-lime. Autumn teases. Today their golden leaves shimmer quietly in the fall breezes and delight the observers. I love autumn. Sadly, though, soon the leaves are brown, crispy, and die. They lose their grasp on the branches and slither to the ground. The trees stand naked, exposed.

(It’s time; time to dress our home for fall. Perfect. Lodge d├ęcor and fall and winter fit easily. Want to come over for a mug of hot apple cider and a pumpkin bar? But I digress.)

In their nakedness the trees wisely instruct. Just a few days previous, the brilliant colors of the leaves signal their time of dormancy is eminent. As the leaves flutter to the ground, the tree appears dead. But no – the trees are alive; healthy. They are doing what God created trees to do. They wait; they store food; they store vital energy; developmental processes are happening; they prepare for their next season of growth. (Thank you to Grant Wood, Department of Horticulture Science, University of Saskatchewan)

I listen to the lesson of the trees.

I love the light green signaling spring, warmer weather, longer days. I love the deepening green as summer progresses providing shade and a place for nests. I love the lemon-lime as the cooler days of fall approach; I love the brilliant gold a sign of maturity. But the brown, crispy, ready to drop leaves sadden. I love times of new life, growth, maturity; dying is hard. Dying is necessary. The dying leaves are the beginning of dormancy, that developmental process that allows the tree to once again be ready for new life.

Interesting, what dies is what is visible; life being renewed is invisible.

A wise friend once asked my husband, what is dying in you and what is coming alive? He immediately knew the answer. If it wasn’t for the dying, there could be no new life.

The trees instruct; the trees remind – the leaves need to die; dormancy isn’t optional if the tree is to be healthy.

I hear. Some things – those visible things – need  to die; times of dormancy are essential; I anticipate new life.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
John 12:24


  1. I love how "in their nakedness trees wisely instruct." (Thanks for helping me hear this lesson!) Especially as you point out how "times of dormancy are essential" and that question "What is dying in you and what is coming alive?" ~ Good stuff to ponder as I bake this afternoon. Truly it's just what I needed to hear today. Thanks Sue!

  2. Sue, I won't be at the conference. It would have been fun to see you though!

    Take care,