As the autumn tumbles forward, the trees are displaying miraculous colors in hues of gold, crimson, apricot, and every color in between. At this time of year, I feel that we get a glimpse of the true essence of nature. The colors that the leaves display represent who they really are, as they no longer need to be simply green and blending with all the others around them. Their production time is coming to an end, and they are making the journey to going within for the winter. There won’t be enough sunlight to synthesize food, so they can release the need for chlorophyll and return to their resting time of year. But they’ll go down in a blaze of glory, sharing all they have to offer in bright displays that defy words, while dropping their seeds for the future.
Nature goes through this “mini-death” every year, taking time to rest and renew before the next season. She sheds the year’s growth, with leaf-memories tossed on the wind, and the hopes of new life traveling as seeds wherever the breeze or animal belly takes them. Nature releases the past, because she knows that there will be new growth after the time of rest. There’s no regrets. Nature never doubts its ability to simply be what it is, whether it’s an earthworm or an elephant. Each knows its place and path, and joyfully steps into it, in perfect rhythm and time. An earthworm does not try to be elephant, for that’s not what it is. It’s beautiful in its own form, and an important part of the whole.
This fall has brought losses to people that are dear to me, and loss always makes me ponder my own priorities and consider where I’m at in my life: am I being the best I can be? Am I being authentic or have I let other people and things around me turn me into a mimic, like the viceroy butterfly who is colored like the monarch? What color is my essence, and will my leaves simply brown and crumble or have my efforts stood out this year, like the unusually pigmented milkweed bug in the picture below?
We are each amazing beings who came into this life with special gifts that make us unique and allow us to contribute something that’s needed by others. The gifts we bring are those things that we’re naturally good at and love to do, and those should be what we spend most of our time doing – the things we love, even if it makes us feel different. That’s the beauty of this mosaic world that we’re a part of: all our different colors, when combined, reflect a masterpiece which would be incomplete if we didn’t let our own colors shine.
We’re each a part of this greater ecosystem, and every part is important for survival. Life here on this planet is finite, so in the autumn of our lives, can we look back and say, “I gave it my all. I made mistakes, but I lived authentically, growing, blossoming, and sowing seeds for the future, whether I’m around to see them root or not. The world was a more brilliant place because I added my colors.” Whether you’re an earthworm or an elephant, we’re all in this together. And if we feel like we could do better, there’s no better time than now to get started. That’s why it’s called the present: it’s the gift of a new moment to start over if we need.
May the autumn bring you moments of rapturous beauty, both inside and out. And may you know that you are loved just for being you and sharing your essence. Let your color shine!
In Love & Light,