In the springtime it is refreshing and exciting to see the bare trees growing their green buds. There is hope and wonder and reassurance that new beginnings are always on the horizon. The green leaves grow bigger and turn their faces towards the sun. They have the job of seeking out the sunlight and providing the energy and the food for the whole tree to grow stronger. For months. The green leaves persist and never let up – staying strongly attached and grounded to the body of its tree.
Like all things in life, however, the green can’t stay forever. Eventually, the leaves begin to lose their energy and the brilliant and strong green is the first to suffer. Every autumn the beauty that was marvelled in the spring begins to fade and give way to everything that it left in its shadow. The orange and red and purple pigments that stood behind the green – they finally get their time to stand out for all to see. The leaf, even in it’s time of suffering, reveals a hidden beauty that was never appreciated in the midst of its strength. Even though the end is nearing, the leaf gives the world a glimpse into the full beauty and splendour of its life.
Despite the inevitable end, the tree never forgets the leaves that so faithfully provided for them. The change is certain, and perhaps unwanted, but the tree prepares to say goodbye:
“…At the same time, the tree seals the cut, so that when the leaf is finally blown off by the wind or falls from it’s own weight, it leaves behind a scar.”
Fall is the time we say good-bye. It’s when we let go. It’s when we reveal the true hidden beauty that we hide for the better part of our lives. And despite the pain and the difficulty, there will always be a memory – even the beauty will leave a scar.
And, it is for this little reminder that the leaves change colour every year.