God’s palette of brilliant colors ignited the trees in northwest Ohio this month. Autumn exhibits meaningful messages if we pay attention to her music.
“Of the four seasons, autumn is by far the most paradoxical. Wedged between an equinox and a solstice, it moors us to cosmic rhythms of deep time and at the same time envelops us in the palpable immediacy of its warm afternoon breeze, its evening chill, its unmistakable scentscape. It is a season considered temperate, but one often tempestuous in its sudden storms and ecstatic echoes of summer heat. We call it “fall” with the wistfulness of loss as we watch leaves and ripe fruit drop to the ground, but it is also the season of abundance, of labor coming to fruition in harvest. ” Maria Popova
I gaze at trees gathered together like patchwork quilts across auburn fields of corn, showcasing their pigmented performance. They blend together in a murmuration of color.
God’s palette contains some colors that on their own are not first choices for many of us. My eyes naturally gravitate to blues and greens. Yet God picked each hue for its gift and as the Master Artist, he creates colorful combinations.
“Rich colours actually look more luminous on a grey day, because they are seen against a somber background and seem to be burning with a lustre of their own. Against a dark sky all flowers look like fireworks”– G. K. Chesterton
If you take the colors of autumn individually, they don’t rate high as favorites of mine:
- Oranges – yawn
- Browns – dreary
- Yellows – though I love the brightness of yellow, it is not the best color for my fair/blonde complexion
- Reds – I do like the aliveness of red; just not a favorite color.
Individually these colors are not very exciting to my soul. But they cry out “See us as one.”
Diverse, yet the beauty emerges when seen collectively. Each one highlights another. A good reminder – instead of focusing on dissimilarities of others we engage with, behold their beauty as one. We are all children of God – one in him. One in one.
Reminds me that the singular taste of plain flour, bitterness of baking soda, and briny taste of salt when mixed with other flavors creates delicious, mouth-watering delights.
“Too often, we miss the obvious: beauty is meant to enable us to transcend the mundane, to escape the frivolous, to save us from the toxicity of the cheap and tawdry. Because of beauty, we may begin to see that the purpose of life is to make beauty possible. Beauty brings peace to the soul and satisfaction to the heart. It saves us from the stress that cacophony brings.
To be enriched by beauty is to have within us the sight of life that will never go away, that will never leave us empty. It is the sight of one single sunset that brings layers of life to every sunset thereafter. When we begin to recognize beauty, to see it all around us, it has done its work on us. Steeped in beauty, we have become beautiful ourselves. We are calm now, uplifted, enriched by the world around us, deepened in our sensitivities, our vision of the world more finely honed. We become the beauty we have come to see everywhere.” Joan Chittister
Trees also invite me to remember to let go.
“Each season of fall reminds us again of Jesus’ invitation to us to an autumnal experience of letting go and of dying – if we want to truly live and be filled with the fullness of God.” Br. Geoffrey Tristram
Especially with the year we have endured: I know I need to surrender my poor attitude adopting gratitude and grace as the lenses to view 2020.
I have loved the colors this fall and as you can read, got my heart musing about this miracle that shows us God’s creativity, imagination, and presence.
How about you? What does God’s palette of colors each fall show you about God?
David Brown says
I was thinking about the colours, which have been good in Scotland this year; but they do celebrate a year dying, and have the winter before them. There’s something of death there, but a dead tree’s leaves don’t colour brightly like this. The leaves coming off the trees come from fresh buds for next year’s spring.
Jean Wise says
Colors have been wonderful in Ohio too. One of the blessings of this crazy year we may overlook but I chose to behold God’s beauty. Yes the tree is still liivng and awaits new like coming next spring. what a wonderful reminder, David, Thank you.
Nancy Ruegg says
Yes, the letting-go message resonates with me too. As one who’s wary of change, the autumn leaves remind me of the beauty that can emerge when I let go of the status quo–just as the leaves let go of photosynthesis and their summer-green coloring to display the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows that are ever-present, hidden underneath the green. I think the leaves are telling me to embrace change as an adventure.
Jean Wise says
I know I have to let go some of the resentment about 2020 and find the beauty even in a troublesome year. Adventure is a great positive word Nancy!
Linda Stoll says
I love that, Jean …
Sheer perfection with an eye to detail. What a magnificent Creator!
Jean Wise says
sometimes, Linda, we just have to stop and enjoy God’s beauty!
Pat Forsman says
God is telling me that change is always a comin….how do we react to it….always a challenge …some we like…some we dont….some of our leaves stay brown…but with our good friend Time…some green leaves do come…
May the Lord bless you this day Jean….
Jean Wise says
Yes, Pat, we can’t control the coming changes but can control our mindset. Blessing on your day too!
Martha Jane Orlando says
Still waiting here in GA for God’s palette to be on full display, and looking forward to it. Yes, Jean, fall is a bittersweet time, but one of my favorite seasons nonethe less. Let us die to ourselves that we might live more abundantly in Jesus!
Jean Wise says
bittersweet is a good word for this season, Martha. Thanks for that insight