"Do the trees know what color their leaves are gonna' be?”
I smile at the innocent wisdom and wonder, too. Does a tree miss its green newness as its leaves shift to crimson, orange or ochre and then to brown? When the last of its covering is blown away on a strong November wind, does it mourn?
They say it’s darkest just before the dawn, but it also seems things can be at their most beautiful just before the end. The strong, resilient trees nod in the wind, but also whisper, "There's nothing to fear."
I lift a spotted leaf from the ground and hold it up to its mother. Branches sway above me as more bits of color rain down. I lay a hand on the coarse bark of its massive trunk, and listen as it explains.
“It’s okay to let go. It’s safe and right and really, it’s all you can do.”
I turn in a full circle, searching maples and ashes, saplings and ancient oaks. They all agree..
I turn around again, and stare accusingly at the steadfast evergreens, who remind me that while they will keep their all- season trimmings, their final summers will one day come.
"But," they say, "in this moment we are as we are."
A breeze pushes my hair back from my face, allowing the sun to speckle my face as it trickles through the leaves. Eyes closed, I inhale the loamy musk of optimism.
"Yes," I tell the trees. "I understand. Whether or not I'm about to flame into splendor, some form of Spring awaits me after the sleep of Winter. Thank you for helping me to know, and trust that it will be exactly as it’s meant to be. "