Leafing a Gift at My Feet

Autumn is in the air, and I am glad of it. Yesterday, I picked up a single huge, brilliantly orange leaf that had fallen on the trail. Above it, the tree from which it had fallen was still uniformly green, with no hint of turning in any of the other leaves. Why did this one leaf change so early, slip itself from the communal branches, and lie at my feet like a gift, or an omen? I choose to see it as a gift, a ticket to autumn and its dizzying glories, rather than as an omen of approaching winter with its cold and death and whiteness that obliterates the riotous color of fall. How good God is to give us a profusion of color, an exuberant crayon drawing, before he ushers in a quieter, monochromatic season. Winter isn’t  deadness, of course, but only a necessary rest, a quieting that stores up and readies its own exuberance underground, to push forth in spring. No season is without its value, in nature or in ourselves. God can use them all to fashion us into His image.

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