“And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground — trees that were pleasing to the eye” (Genesis 2:9).
“Where did the summer go?” I sighed, as August ended and the month of September began. Now it’s October, soon to be November. Every year, I feel so sad when the hot weather gives way to the cooler, colder windy days and nights of autumn. Summer is my favorite season. I can wear shorts, tank tops, sandals, visit the beach, swim, enjoy the sunshine, go for early evening walks and watch the sunset at 9 pm instead of 7 pm. For me, autumn has always been a bleak sign that the freezing cold winter is fast approaching. The shorter days. Bare trees. The snow. Cabin fever. Ugh!
But this fall season my perspective changed.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve felt a strong desire to focus on the vibrant colors of the leaves and photograph them in all their splendor. For the most part, I’ve always sort of admired the fall foliage. But for some strange reason, this year the leaves really wooed me.
The fiery reds and oranges, deep burgundies, vibrant yellows, golds, and browns came alive — especially through the lens of my camera.
The multicolored leaves speak volumes of the Lord’s creative handiwork. The deep green leaves of summer miraculously transform into a veritable rainbow, a painter’s palette of vivid hues and tones. It’s so characteristic of our Lord to give us such a beautiful, transitional season to enjoy right before winter.
As I marveled at the brilliant foliage, I wondered, “How do the deep green leaves change into such a beautiful array of colors?” (I learned about this in science class years ago, but I forgot the details.)
According to http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/leaves.html, leaves are nature’s food factories. Plants take water from the ground through their roots and carbon dioxide from the air. They use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Plants use this glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growth. The manner in which plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar is called photosynthesis, which somehow involves the chemical chlorophyll that’s responsible for giving plants their green color.
As the days get shorter and shorter, the trees instinctively know it’s time to prepare for winter (Genesis 1:14). No longer is there enough light or water for photosynthesis, so the trees turn off their food-making machines, the chlorophyll disappears from their leaves, and the glorious yellows, reds and oranges emerge. Interestingly, small amounts of these colors are already in the leaves. We just can’t see them in the summer, because the chlorophyll dominates.
So even if you’re a lover of the hot weather like me, don’t let this autumn season pass you by without stopping and enjoying the colorful landscape the Lord has painted. You’ll gain a new appreciation for the fall season and wonder why you didn’t take much notice before.