Brenda’s Blog – April 19, 2022
My son Jeff and I stood in line at the New Hampshire hotel’s registration desk after day one of our fall photo adventure. I nonchalantly asked for a room with two beds. Her expression told me good news was not coming. “There are no rooms available in New Hampshire – it is leaf season.” Knowing I didn’t hear her, I asked naively, “Could you recommend another hotel in town?” “Did you hear me? There are NO ROOMs in the entire state.”
She directed us to a local schoolteacher who rented three bedrooms during the fall… it was a most lucrative side hustle! Jeff, three women on a girls’ weekend and I shared her house for the night and continued on the next day.
Jeff and I traipsed trails, climbed fences, and endured great rains in plastic ponchos discovering secluded coves with hidden ponds reflecting bold oranges, yellows, and reds. To our chagrin, we now know lighthouses were not built on the side of the highway. Trekking across fields and up hills to the stone buildings challenged us.
The paradox of autumn is the botanical significance of color changes. The chlorophyll factories energized during long, sunny days produce verdant, vibrant leaves. As sunlight decreases, the factory workers pack up for winter and the green steps back allowing the carotenes and the xanthophyll to gloriously appear. Ironically, an entire tourist industry is built on the dying process.
Poets, preachers, and philosophers eloquently (and sometimes not quite so skillfully) connect the linkage between leaves and human lifespans. As one whose chlorophyll factory passed peak production years ago, I embrace the sentimentality of the orange, yellow, and red seasons. There are moments when I exultantly exclaim “this is my season — let me shine — let me attract the leaf peepers.” Other times I long for just a few more years of green. But I do love the way God has a purpose and moment in the sun for all ages and stages. Finding contentment in all hues is His gift.