Autumn Leaves….Memorable Lives

By Qin Sun Stubis

ching-in-rock-creek-parkThe weather in the Northeast is changing fast: A chilling wind challenges the brittle Autumn foliage to a duel, blowing with a winning whistle as the first deciduous leaves start to make their last acrobatic tumble. Clear overnight skies promise us crisp, cool air, as we store away our light wardrobe in search of a warmer one.

Fall is beautiful here. Imagine feasting your eyes as every tree becomes a proud peacock with a brilliant display of every warm hue on the color spectrum. It is a great time of the year to take family trips, walks in the woods, feel that crunchy cushion of leaves beneath our feet, and get one more last eyeful of Nature in her colorful splendor. Soon enough, winter will roll out its grey and silver blanket.

Don’t get me wrong, for I do appreciate winter, especially its icicles and fairytale snow scenes. When I was little in China, I always imagined that the snow on the ground was soft, powdery sugar. I could never resist dipping my finger into that white fluff and tasting it with my eyes closed. In my mind, I was tasting Nature’s sweet abundance, the wishful thinking of a little girl in a world of poverty.

Now, my appreciation of the snow is strictly visual, and my tolerance of the cold season somewhat compromised. I can’t blame myself for groaning about the unbearably long winter after I’m stranded inside a house for days. Cabin fever readily creeps up on me and I start to crave the warm and colorful side of Nature.

When my longing grows unbearable, I often venture out into the frigid, open air, heading toward the bosom of my beloved Nature, despite her harsh, grouchy mood.

I want to explore deep in her woods to find that bright green I so miss, even if it be fresh moss gathered around the bottom of a tree and its exposed clumps of roots, like custom-fitted footwear Nature has spun for her feet. I take that green to heart as a promise that the weather will soon get warmer and all the colors return.

The change of seasons often reminds me of the fleeting, precious moments in life, the transition of scenes from day to day, from one period to another, some sunny and pleasant, others dark and depressing. Although we wish that our lives could always be filled with warmth and sunshine, it would become quite monotonous and unchallenging.

Besides, it’s impossible. We only live once. Why not enjoy everything life brings us, be they sweet sorrows or memorable rainbows?

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