Autumn is a beautiful time in my part of the world. During this “peak color” week, most trees are vibrant and full of leaves. The sunny breezes dance through them, and I’m reminded why I enjoy the change of season.
Catching my eye this year are trees like the one pictured here. A spectrum of colors, it seems all four seasons are turning simultaneously in its branches. I’m reminded of Teilhard de Chardin’s analogy of the floral bouquet. In it, we expect to see all elements in full bloom, fresh and at the prime of life. We also hope to find our lives that way — perfectly arranged and beautiful.
But we live more like this tree: in full bloom and color, and other parts broken or sickly, or even dead as in winter – still alive, yet withdrawn and hibernating. As the seasons change, we can find any of them at any time in some corner of ourselves, or our lives: the bitter with the sweet; the barren with the fruitful.
The tree gives my hope in its strength, wisdom in its silence, and fullness in its beauty. May we be more like the tree: embracing all the seasons, thriving in our lives, at this very moment.
In a bunch of flowers we would be surprised to find one imperfect or sickly, because each was chosen and assembled. On a tree, by contrast, which has had to fight the internal hazards of its own growth and the external hazards of weather, the bruised and broken have their own rightful place. Teilhard de Chardin