As I write, the autumn show of brilliantly colored leaves is just past its peak. Along the street where I live, the display has been more vivid than any I remember from years past. The dozens of trees close to my house seem to be trying to outdo one another in intense yellows, oranges, and reds.
From a window in my living room, I can see a tree in the yard next door that is the most vibrant red I ever remember seeing in the fall. It spreads its limbs as if to boast about its beauty and seems to be saying, “Hey, everybody, look at me.”
I have written here several times about my dislike of autumn and winter and the cold that replaces the summer’s warmth. I dread the oncoming freezing temperatures and snow, and I yearn for the warm days when I can go around in shorts and no shirt. But I am comforted by the trees’ shamelessly flamboyant spectacle. I remind myself that the leaves’ change of color, eventual death, and falling to the ground is not caused by the onset of cold weather but by shorter and shorter days as winter looms.
And I comfort myself by remembering that the trees are not dead, just dormant. They will wake up and grow fresh new leaves in a few months as the spring comes. My job is to go on being productive despite the dark and the cold of winter.
For me, that is a daunting task.