We’re now in the midst of the fall season, surrounded by vibrant and glorious colors. Each day brings something new – a tree whose leaves have turned overnight or a tree whose leaves have dropped to the ground. Fall is correctly referred to as the season of change and this year that change seems to be especially dominated by the colors of yellow and gold. The colors are vibrant when painted with sunshine against a bright blue sky and they stand out amidst a gray sky. And once those lovely yellow and gold leaves have dried and fallen to the ground, they crunch and crackle under the weight of shoes and boots.
Our short season of fall asks me to admire and appreciate it each day.
The nights have a bit of coolness to them now, and the sunshine isn’t quite as hot as it was earlier this month. Our daylight is becoming noticeably shorter as we move closer to fall. The skies are filled with Canada geese flying over, strengthening the wings of the young ones as they prepare for migrating south; their honking fills the air. I noticed these sedum blossoms the other day with spots of color in them. They too are responding to the fast approaching change in the seasons.
The bright colors of fall have come to an end. The oaks have turned to their deeper rust color and the ground is now littered with faded colors. As I was out raking leaves, a light rain started. On the still lake it provided its punctuation in the water surface. The reflection was beautiful and a reminder to me that even though the bright colors of fall are gone and many of the trees are without their vibrant leaves, there is still an amazing beauty in the world around us.
There are so many lovely “hidden gems” in the Twin Cities, and one just happens to be in my neighborhood. Como Park, which includes a conservatory, zoo, carousel, golf course, lake, swimming pool, picnic areas, and many trails, also holds a lovely Japanese garden tucked away down a winding path. In the early morning hours with the colors of autumn on display, I found myself humbled and amazed at the quiet and the beauty in the garden. The fallen leaves seemed to have a purpose in their random display, as if saying that all is right in this changing landscape. The colors spoke to me, begging to be remembered as they will be quickly replaced with the white of snow. This year’s change of seasons has been hurried, yet here in the Japanese garden there was a stillness and quiet reminding me that each season holds its own purpose and to trust in the changes of fall prior to the long nights of winter.
We are in the glorious midst of fall – the change of seasons from summer to winter. One day we have bright sunshine and the next day is cool and cloudy, and throughout them all the colors of our landscape continue to change. So too I’m reminded of the changes in our lives. It was a year ago that my father passed away and that was a change I was not prepared for. But I’ve come to realize that change is the one constant in life. With three deaths in the family, a change in jobs, a kitchen remodel, and a different car, I sometimes wonder if I recognize my life anymore. But I’ve learned something with each change, and I know that the best way to honor my father is to live the values that he helped to instill in me. He laid the basis for my sense of adventure and my joy in being outdoors in nature – two of the traits I enjoy so much in my photography. As I was photographing this slough the air would be still, and then the wind would come up. It caused the water to ripple across the surface and the cattails to dance in front of me. The movement and the colors of the trees were all a glorious celebration of change.