Autumn is here.
Leaves are everywhere, the trees shed them and become more and more bare.
Does Fall signify death and decay and rot of extraneous pieces of deciduous trees?
No! In fact, some truly amazing things happen. The colors we see actually indicate that a sort of hibernation and conservation is to take place.
Bears, squirrels, and other animals gather food and stock up on nutrients and foodstuffs for the winter in order to survive.
Trees are not much different, in that they shed their leaves, which utilize a ton of energy to feed. Chlorophyll is broken down, and conserved within the tree. The other pigments that unveil glorious golds, reds and oranges then begin to peek out as the chlorophyll makes its way out of the home of the leaves.
Carotenoids, which are present in bananas, carrots and daffodils, are also present in leaves, not unlike chlorophyll. The carotenoids begin to really show off, and create the more gold and orange tones we see in our beloved autumn leaves. Meanwhile, anthocyanin pigments, which were not "always there" within the leaves, are produced come autumn time as the length of nights increases. These mark their territory in the changing of the leaves by producing the deep red tones that are also seen in strawberries and plums.
The tree changes because the weather drastically begins to change. Living conditions will become more harsh and the winds and snowfall will take their toll on the trees. Yet the trees are strong and steadfast even during the coldest parts of winter, because they conserved the most important thing, a good portion of which was at one time, contained within their leaves - nutrients.
Even though the fresh green colors that marked spring and summertimes fade, the colors that autumn brings are so utterly breathtaking. It is good to know that the trees can remain stable throughout the harshness of winter, and the promise that they will return to their fruitful state again come spring.
Sometimes in life it really seems as though there's so much change and uncertainty and decay. It can seem heavy and dreary. However, the beautiful thing is that these difficult seasons clue us into reminders that some of the most breathtaking, exhilarating moments to come will allow us to experience life and newness and vibrancy like we remember once having.
You may feel like scattered leaves, with life falling away from you, seasons changing, and hard things bogging you down. But think about what this season of life has to teach you, and how you can maybe take some good, sound truth from your current life stage and store it away for a time when you need it more then than now. Imagine the brilliancy of reliving that truth and basking in it and allowing it to grow you as you enter into more changes and more seasons of life.
It's all about perspective. Either you can trample on the leaves of life, or you can tap into the wonder and beauty of each moment and learn and grow and store away for the many more leaps and bounds to come.
So if the chlorophyll is fading, and the golds and reds begin to emerge, celebrate a new chapter, and be determined to learn something from it! Look to the tree as a reminder of this, and appreciate its own beauty and life.