This fall I have been struck by how amazing the color has been in the leaves. Though I have only just passed the decade mark in my time as a resident of California, I do not remember an autumn where the leaves have sung out their hues here with such enthusiasm.
Perhaps it is only the contrast—that against the grey and smoke-filled skies of climate change which we see too many summers and falls now those colors blaze. And yet isn’t that a true gift? When life seems challenging and when we face problems for which we can see no solutions, how wonderful it is that the sky blazes and the colors are transfixing. How important it is that in times of loss and fear, the bounty of our natural world rises to heal and hold us.
Because of the way our seasons flowed this year, our sidewalks still are papered with the gorgeous expressions of color—the trees pleading with us to notice beauty, notice beauty! And as we enter into this rich time of darkness and musing, introspection and celebration of the smallest sparks of hope, we can take the time to notice the dance of lights or the glory of extra colors adorning our neighbors’ homes and rejoice.
That is why I appreciate our winter gathering of Breath and Spirit where we hold both the realities iof our lives, loss and all, and take in the gifts of the season.
At this time when so many are struggling with questions of basic existence, our response must be two-handed. On one hand, we give and do what we can—and the other hand reaches out for whatever majesty and magic this season of nurturing darkness holds.