Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Color of Leaves

The leaves have turned magnificent shades of yellow, orange, and red just overnight it seems. It began about two weeks ago, but with this sudden cold snap this weekend, the colors just burst forth. It is so easy to overlook when we see it every year, but it truly is marvelous. This past week we had the great privilege of not only hearing Elder Martin Onyani from Kisii, Kenya, preach to us, but he also stayed in my parents' home. The equator runs through Kenya, and Elder Martin has never been outside Kenya or Tanzania until this past week. He was amazed at the colors of the leaves. He asked Dad, "What makes the leaves change color?" Dad's reply: "God." (As Elder Harold Hunt has said, "The Gospel is simply profound, and profoundly simple.")

So, I started thinking about Elder Martin's question. Usually, we tie the seasonal changes of the leaves to the time periods in our life. In the spring, new life buds forth, and full growth is in the summer. Then, in the fall the leaves fade, just as we grow older, and in the winter, the leaves die and fall to the ground. And, we even take that further. Some leaves fall "early", just as some of us leave this earth at tender ages. And some hang on until the very last days of winter. I was pondering all these things this afternoon, and then I took it another step.

I decided that perhaps the color of the leaves represent something, too, about our "older" age. For example, the brown leaves are the crusty, bitter older people who always seem to be in a sour mood. Not very pretty, nor fun to be around. Then, you have your red leaves - those people who are firecrackers. Always telling you exactly what's on their mind. Or the orange ones, the mellow ones, cool and content. And let's not forget the yellows. Bright and cheerful, bubbling over with excitement and energy.

I'm hoping to be more yellow and orange when I get older. How about you?

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