The trees around here are lighting up one by one. Perhaps it was the recent and delightful days of rain that caused this. I do not know. But I am having a difficult time driving down the street without going off the road as I catch a glimpse of some wonderful new work of art. And I have also looked in the rear view mirror several times and noticed I have company. That hardly ever happens. Sorry.
How can anyone fail to see these trees and slow down? I particularly like the ones that have a yellow glow on the inside that turns into an amazing shade of red on the outside. Talk about an explosion of color. There is one tree out there that deserves the prize and I will try to get a photo of it today while out and about.
Colors flame outward and upward as we drive around wondering about our political and economic situations. As Gerard Manley Hopkins once wrote:
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; Bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
It could have happened a different way. All things are not predetermined. Perhaps the leaves could have simply fallen off the trees without making such a wonderful exit.
Once the Industrial Revolution got going in earnest some chemical change in the atmosphere could have led to a diminishing or an abandonment in this annual display.
Christmas was moved up by an Act of Congress so that people could bring artificial light to their shrubbery and feel a little better about what was happening around them.
But this has not happened and we are comforted by a display that returns and surprises us with its grandeur. Change does not have to be painful. It can be inspiring to watch.
The death of so many leaves comes with a promise of renewal in six months or so. Even if your part of the planet does not enjoy these seasonal changes you must know that it happens. I will post a photo in case you have forgotten or doubt that it is so.