I love fall. It’s my absolute favorite season. I love the crisp air, bonfires, and warm tea. But most of all, I love the colors. I will never be able to capture the beauty of the leaves from the tops of Bear’s Den trail or in Shenandoah National Park. It’s too wonderful for mere words.
And I live in the desert.
From our balcony, we see a palm tree exactly the same 365 days of the year. Don’t misunderstand me, I love the desert. It has a beauty all it’s own. But in September I miss autumn.
A few years ago my mom sent me leaves she laminated so I’d have fall even in the desert. Each September I take them out and bring autumn into our home. It makes my heart happy to have a little bit of my favorite season even though it’s still 100 degrees outside.
As I’ve been contemplating changing leaves, I discovered something. In elementary school we learn that leaves change because of a reduction in chlorophyll due to cooler temperatures and cloudy days. Chlorophyll is what makes leaves green. It’s what turns the sunshine into food for the plant. But when it’s removed, we can see the color.
What I didn’t know is that leaves are always the reds and yellows and oranges they turn into in the fall. It’s just hidden behind the bright green chlorophyll. It’s only by stripping everything away that we’re able to see the leaf’s true color.
My life is like that right now. One by one everything in my life is being stripped away like the chlorophyll from a tree in the fall. Good things that are painful to give up are fading just like the green on a leaf. What’s left is what’s really me. And I’ve been asking myself, “Who am I really? Why do I live in the Middle East? What is my true color?” Sometimes these are painful questions to ask. Stripping away can, and usually does, hurt. But what I’m left with is really me.
What color am I?
Am I a bright yellow because of inner joy? Am I a fiery red for passion? Am I orange and full of peace? Or am I a dead brown with nothing left?