The colors of fall are in full swing in Arkansas City, Kansas. Amidst oak and elm, a few maples splash their bright colors along the streets and in the yards. It’s hard not to like this flush of autumn, especially the variegated accents of sweet gum with its points of the palette. It seems like everywhere you look, there’s some refreshing bit of color.
Yesterday’s winds sure rearranged some of it, though. Those gusts that whipped around town pushed the meter up near the forty-miles-an-hour mark. Branches bent, limbs swayed and even the trunks shuddered a bit. Much of the foliage departed for points unknown, leaving many branches bare by this morning’s early light.
As I walked from the house to the truck, I saw a thick covering of leaves in the eddies of the wind’s swirling currents. All those colors that I’d seen along Summit and across the avenues were now represented in my yard: yellows and tans, greens and browns, reds and oranges in all sorts of shades, shapes and tones.
I know it’s not the same as seeing them in full array along the banks and bluffs. Miles of hardwoods along the hills and bordering the fields is often little short of spectacular. But there is beauty in this, too, this close viewing of individual leaves scattered and sorted and close at hand. In admiring the beauty of the group, we should also treasure the closeness of knowing the individual.
It might be good, too, to learn the art of appreciating the autumn without dreading the coming of winter. In all seasons, there is good, and a time for each.