We are immersed in the kaleidoscope of Fall here in the Hudson Valley. Tourists are traveling from near and far to witness this annual phenomenon. Photo shoots are planned around this time of year, hoping to capture the perfect shot on exactly the right day, with exactly the right light, and exactly the right foliage. And those of us with the opportunity to live here and make our lives here are lit up every single day by the magic happening all around us. Just stepping outside, even looking out the window, driving in the car to go to the hardware store, miracles, miracles, miracles at every turn.
I used to think of it as Mother Nature really showing off and shouting at me to pay attention to her. Look! Over here! Did you see this brightest, most brilliant color of yellow on this maple tree? When the sun hits it! Look! No over here! The flaming fire red tree in the distance! No me! The wind lightly causing a stir of leaves to drift from their branches and dance through the air!
And then I realized, no, this is not a show. Mother Nature is not showing off. Not at all. Mother Nature is doing what she always does. She’s just doing her thing, being herself. She isn’t doing this for us, for the show, for the spectacle of it all. She is literally dying. That blast of color bursting forth from the mountainside is a last gasping breath, a final push of life force. Those dried leaves crunching under foot? That earthy, rich scent coming from the forest floor? That’s death. And isn’t it beautiful?
What a gift to witness. What a lesson to learn. Thank you for showing us that this is what death can look like. That it can be magnificent to let things go. To release what is no longer serving. This is the natural cycle. Something must die to be reborn. Something must die to make room for something else. Something must die to be transformed into something richer. Something must die, and then after a period of rest and reflection, be birthed again - renewed and enriched through the death cycle.