Twirling leaves of burnt gold, amber, and bright yellow fly across the view from my sunroom window. Our silver maple, a magnificent tree, is still decked with leaves (some lime green, many a shiny yellow) and is the center point of my view. It hugs our driveway and canopies our southern exposure. I adore the shape of its trunk; its quick, thick branches; and the gnarly, humpy, spreading of its root feet. The rain-darkened bark is backed by blazing yellow orange leaves of a hickory tree neighbor. What a sight!
I love the rain, in the fall, with the colors and the bark. Wind-whipped leaves - swirling, floating, flying. My spirits soar as every peek from any window, each moment gazing from the porches, all the swishing through mounds of brightness bring profound thankfulness. Middle age does not diminish the wonder or the joy.
Today, fingers of a winter storm, dumping heavy snows north and west, bring us more rain (Yippee!) with a little thunder, a tad of lightning, and intermittent high winds. Autumn storms differ from spring storms. These rains help lay our gardens to rest. They calm and nourish the soil. I don’t think of renewal or sprouting or vigorousness. Summer’s waning eased my mind into thoughts of rest and quiet and latent energy. This rain, these storms, are icing on my ‘love of autumn’ cake.
Our senses can reel and our hearts can quicken from the beauty that surrounds us. Thoughts and emotions triggered by such sights are hard to express. With words, anyway. Sometimes. We strive to capture them, on film and in memory. Minutes tick by as our eyes drink it all in. Light waves make their way to our brains and travel along sensory and neural pathways, where chemicals are released that turn into emotions that cause us to say, “Wow!” And, “Thank you.” And, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…” (And, “I really want to share this with someone.”)
So, sing, people, sing! Smile and laugh and wonder as you walk or drive or stand perfectly still. Help others to know, show others, the magnificence in a simple red leaf. Or in the darkness of tree bark, stained with cool rain, set against the deep and ravishing colors of fall.