Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Saguaros Don't Change Colors

I spent the first 18 years of my life in Phoenix, AZ. We didn't have Autumn. We went Back to School, and the weather eventually cooled to the 80's, but the leaves didn't change colors. We were surrounded by saguaro cactus, olive, and yucca trees. I remember one trip to the mountains of Arizona to see the leaves changing when I was probably about 10 years old. It was amazing to me. I had never seen such a sight.

I experienced my first true Autumn when I went off to college. Don't laugh, but it was in Southern California (Biola!). Not what most people envision when they think of Autumn, I know. It was magical to me. All around campus were trees emblazoned with gold. I loved laying in the grass in front of the dorm just looking up at the trees. It was so beautiful.

Time passed. I moved to Colorado. This made our trees in California pale in comparison. For the first time, I saw more than just green or yellow leaves. I saw firery reds, oranges, and so many different shades of gold. I would take myself on nature walks and drives to just soak it all in. I collected leaves and pressed them. I filled my first little place with Autumn's touches.

More time passed. I married. I became a teacher. We moved to Denver. I taught 5th Grade and realized as we were doing science, that I have no idea why the leaves changed. I learned. I taught. We took Friday afternoon visits to the park behind the school to read under a tree I saw on my drive to work. We took our books and art supplies. We gathered leaves and twigs, did crayon rubbings, drew pictures of the trees and tried to absorb it all.

Time continues to pass. I left teaching to become a Mommy. I didn't go Back to School last Fall as I was preparing to have our baby. He was born on a freezing Fall evening at home. It was almost Winter, and the coldest week of the year. He'll always be my Autumn Baby. No wonder I call him Pumpkin.

Fall has returned again. We were going to go to the mountains last week to see the leaves, but an accident changed all that. My little Pumpkin fell and broke his leg last Saturday. Our trip to the mountains was exchanged for a trip to the ER. I've been at home with him since he returned from the hospital. Luckily, he is not in pain. He is, however, in a spica cast (waist down, both legs for immobilization) and cannot leave the house.

On Sunday while he was napping and Daddy was home I left for a little bit. I drove around, amazed that Autumn truly arrived last week in Denver. I had missed its arrival because of being indoors all week. What a refreshing time I had! Thank you Lord. I sat, drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte and reading Nicholas Nickleby for the Autumn Reading Challenge (see post below). Then I did a few errands, all the while trying to see as much color as I could. I picked up a little red wagon a woman had for sale so that I can roll the Pumpkin around the neighborhood this week and show him the leaves. We'll collect some, press some, and decorate the house.

Autumn has become my favorite season. I love the change in the air and the light. It is still so amazing to me. Time seems to slow. I slow. I sit more and watch more. I listen. I smile at the sound of the birds in the garden eating the sunflower seeds, but more importantly, I am listening this Autumn for that still, small voice that speaks to me.

He could have just made it so the leaves just shrivel up and fall off as little brown clumps. He didn't. He turns the leaves on fire. He allows the beauty that has been in the leaves all along, hidden by the chlorophyll, to burst forth. Will that not be the case with us as well? Will not our covering fade away to reveal the wonder of His creation in us? Will we not be seen for what we truly are, no longer hidden away by an outward cover, but instead blazing as gold for His glory?
Surrounded by the glory of His Creation, how can I not pause and praise Him? This is the Beauty of Autumn.


The Autumn Rain said...

Thank you. It was a delight to include your post in the Carnival of Beauty.

Susanna said...

Poor Pumpkin ! I hope his leg heals soon.
I love autumn and that was a great post :) God is so good in the way He creates things for us to enjoy.

Susan said...

How fun to read all these autumn memories. I'll have to do likewise.

For five years I lived in Colorado Springs and a highlight was driving deeper into the mountains to wonder at the aspens turning color.

"He allows the beauty that has been in the leaves all along, hidden by the chlorophyll, to burst forth. Will that not be the case with us as well?"

I was thinking about this when I wrote my post and couldn't figure out how to include it. I'm glad you did.

Davene said...

I'm trying to get caught up on your blog so I'm "starting at the very beginning," as Julie Andrews would sing!

I realize I'm writing this way after you wrote the original post--a year later, actually. But I still couldn't help commenting, especially because we're once again in autumn and I feel so many of the things that you described so well. I too loved the quote about "the beauty that has been in the leaves all along," and I appreciate your insight and willingness to share.


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