Grateful Friday

I love fall. Cool, crisp breezes that invite warm sweaters and extra big mugs of coffee in the morning. Blazing red and gold foliage, flaming in the sun. Back to school, with crisp new notebooks and sharp, woody-smelling pencils. I think I would not like to live in a place where there was no fall.

So, I was grateful today, on our walk in the park, when I spied this first frosting of red on these trees overhanging the river. I made Magic and Molly stand in one spot far longer than they liked while I took some pictures. I wondered why these branches have turned to crimson so much earlier than the rest of the tree. Are they forward thinkers, setting the standard for other limbs to follow? Are they early birds, eager to show off their colors before every one else? Or are they simply aging more quickly than necessary, giving up on the effort to stay green?

As much as I love fall, I am not immune to it's bittersweet nature. It's nature's last hurrah before the frosty months of winter, and I do not love winter. So even though I welcome these dusty red tipped branches, I also want to tell them to be patient, to hang onto their verdant green leaves as long as they can. To be grateful for life, in all its colors.