Monday, October 20, 2008

Falling Leaves

As my 5 year old son and I walked to the bus stop this morning, we enjoyed the bounty of leaves that have turned color upon the trees. One tree after another line each side of the streets we walk to the bus. Each tree presenting it's own unique crown of red, yellow or orange leaves.

"Why do the leaves turn colors Mommy?" My son asked me.

I explained that the days are shorter and dryer as winter approaches and less sunlight and water cause the leaves to turn colors.
My son stopped several times along the way. He picked up a leaf here and a leaf there. Each time he picked up a leaf, he happily informed me of the color and size of the leaf and then placed it back where he found it.
"Why are the leaves different colors Mommy?" he asked.
I explained that there are all different types of trees and that the type of tree will determine the color its leaves will turn in Fall.
My son asked, "Why do the leaves fall off the trees Mommy?"
I explained that the leaves fall off the trees so that the tree trunk and branches can save all their strength to survive the cold snowy winter and grow new leaves next year.

My son and I were the first ones to arrive at the bus stop this morning. We gazed across the street at the lake. We watched as the sun shone upon the leaves that fell one by one from a single tree with the lake shimmering in the background. At the same time, both my son's hand and mine reached for one another. Hand in hand we watched silently as each leaf drifted back and forth in a gentle breeze until it found its way down to its resting place upon the ground.

Soon the other children and their mothers arrived. My son chattered with the children and I with their mothers. The school bus arrived and my son ran off. I waved goodbye and started walking back home.

As I made my way back home, I remembered the moment not so long ago when hand in hand, silently, together, my son and I watched the leaves falling from a tree. At that moment, my son forgot all his questions and I forgot all my answers. For just one moment, my son and I were suddenly struck speechless by the beauty and admiration of a living canvas of color, light and movement that only God could paint. We shared that moment together through a loving touch.

I thanked God for the beauty of the earth He created, for my loving son and for that special moment in time. I prayed that I and my son would always be able to put aside the reasoning of nature long enough to enjoy the beauty of it. I prayed that our relationship would always remain loving. I prayed that in my old age I would be blessed with as many precious memories as there are leaves falling from a single tree, memories as beautiful and as touching as today's.

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