Photo credit to Serenity Bohon.

The trees of autumn 2020 are letting me down. That is no surprise. Instead of turning to rich golds, reds, and yellows, the leaves around us are turning brown, curling up, and dropping to the ground in surrender. Or defeat. My husband says it has nothing to do with the pandemic and everything to do with weather patterns this year. Sometimes it happens.

I know he is right, but I’m disappointed anyway. I have been counting on fall to bring the warm fuzzies. This drab display is not helping me. I was thinking about it the other day as I walked to the mailbox and heard the sycamore leaves crunching underfoot. I reached into the mailbox to get the stack of bills, political flyers, and advertisements for the best Medicare plans. (Happy upcoming birthday to me.) I happened to glance down the street, and a gorgeous maple tree almost uprooted herself to wave her golden foliage in my direction. Despite the weather (and the pandemic) and the sad state of trees everywhere else in the neighborhood, this maple was putting on a Best of Show.

“I want to be like that tree,” I thought. “No matter how the world looks, I want to pop with whatever color represents joy. Real joy. The deep-down, birthed-by-God, sustained-by-the-Holy-Spirit kind of joy.”

Maybe, if I could bottle that joy, it would be the color of a golden maple in the fall. I waved back at the tree. And, I made a plan. I shall add color to 2020 wherever I can. I’m picking golden maple as my theme for the fall. Who wants to be the red pin oak?