Autumn Years

By Joseph J. Mazzella • November 2, 2021

We are having an unusual Autumn this year here in the mountains of my home. First the Summer weather seemed to hang on forever. Its hot days stretched through September and into October. Then when the Fall like weather did arrive it really kicked the leaves into high gear. Usually here the Maples change first blessing us with their bright, beautiful reds and lovely, peaceful yellows. Then as their leaves fall to the ground the Oaks begin to change giving us their deep burgundies and earthy browns, making the hills around us rich and rusty.

This year it seems all the leaves are turning at once, however. The Maple and Oak trees are reaching the peak of their colors at the same time. It is such a glorious sight. Driving along the mountain roads today I was in awe of the intense beauty. The sun was playing peek-a-boo in the clouds, popping out to shower sunshine on the leaves in different moments and adding to the wonder of it all. Part of me wondered if this is what Heaven looked like all the time and felt like singing. In the back of my mind, though, was the knowledge that in a few more weeks all the leaves would be down and the hills would be full of stark, skinny skeletons covered in gray bark.

Thinking of this made me take a look at my own life. I was now entering my own Autumn years. I have lived here for 55 years and if God wills it I may get another 25 to 30 at the most. How was I going to live them? Was I going to spend the last part of my life at my peak, sharing my love, light, and true colors with the world? Or was I going to simply shed my leaves and spend the remainder of my days here as a stark, skinny skeleton?

Then I heard the warm voice of God in my heart say: “Choose!” And in that moment I did. I thanked God for a beautiful day, a beautiful world, and a beautiful life. And I promised to add my own love to it for all the days I had left. May you do the same.


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