I have two favorite memories of college biology: how living organisms are classified and the color of leaves. The true color of leaves is present all spring and summer. Buried under the layers of chloroplasts lies the deep reds, oranges, yellows, and browns that leaf lovers long for with the cooling Autumn winds. Chloroplasts' purpose feeds the tree by soaking up the sun's rays into those green cells. As the extended time of the sun fills the battery like cells, the green begins to slip away, or fall off allowing the leaf a moment of colorful glory before separating and falling to the ground; its job done.
Poet e .e. cummings wrote his poem l(a. His words hang in my classroom. Students stare at the trailing letters pondering the code, musing any meaning. His poem reads
To look at this poem, start with the idea of falling and let the letters and the parenthesis mimic the falling nature of the leaf. A fun side note, the typewriter Cummings used contained only one key to press both a numeral 1 and a lower case l onto the page. My grandmother's typewriter had the same function. One alone falls.
Together on a tree, leaves' color create a majesty inspiring numerous paintings and poems. Autumn is the leaf's time to shine. In like fashion, the true color that comes after we shed the weight upon our shoulders and look up reflecting our inner growth is stunning. We've all weathered storms. We all walk the path of loneliness. Our heartache unites us more than divides as we cling to the tree of life side by side and radiate personal growth and understanding fed by the heat of life's crucible. Our individual stories feed the whole tree giving courage and comfort. We are not alone.
Today's plans include a walk. The time to reflect, look up, and gather leaves as I go will bring what I crave most: a sense of peace that life is in balance. Each leaf reminds me to be true to how I am designed. Each leaf reminds me to let go, show my true color, and shine. When I want to cry or stop being positive because the days are too much, I try to remember to look up and know this shall pass. What I choose to do with this time shall imprint my life as long as I walk this earth. "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecclesiastes 3: 1 (KJV)