Thursday, October 16, 2014

Foliage Season Train [Comparing fall foliage to our lives] South Burlington, Vermont

We are all on a train whose destination and timetable is unknown. Actually, we know the end destination; it is a cliff.

Look to nature to slow down the travel, enhance beauty, fulfillment, inner peace, and even solitude.

“Leaves spill down, each descent unique and never to be repeated. A million voyagers leave their invisible trails in the air.” Abraham Verghese-Cutting for Stone. 

Leaves change color, depleted of their energy, falling individually, cascading downward on their final journey. How apt a call from nature is fall foliage season reminding us of the transient beauty of life.

Does the leaf know in spring at its birth, or in summer at its pinnacle of maturity, or even as green gives way to gold, yellow, red, and orange- does it know the journey has an end point fast approaching, that its time is measured? Does the leaf value its being, its own being, its companions, relatives, and associates as well as neighbors: birds, bees, and other critters along with the sun, clouds, wind, and rain- more so as seasons pass?

Where are you in your journey? In what station do you find yourself? Do you contemplate the meaning and purpose of your life?  

What kind of fall foliage will you display: a dazzling display of brilliant colors following a robust green of maturity? Will you delay the inevitable and hold on through the winter of life, determined as the oak leaves to remain as long as possible even though they are wrinkled, dry and brittle?

What comforts will you provide to others, as leaves do in providing shade, oxygen, and eye-candy even when they are past their physical prime?

Pick up a leaf-examine it. What do you see? Like our palms, each leaf is unique.  

Observe and recognize the special attributes of the leaves (and people) around you. Most of all enjoy the season you are in. The train moves on; your choice is at what speed, which stops, and how much color you display.

Observe nature and be Green and Clean.


Bernie publishes essays and photos reflecting Vermont values of Green and Clean and Community. He urges us all to pick up litter and maintain a litter free environment through caring, community, and contribution in order to protect our water, wildlife, and human health.