By Joseph J. Mazzella
I was taking a walk in the woods on a late August evening. Suddenly, a cool breeze started to blow and a single red maple leaf broke off of its tree and circled down and around until it landed peacefully upon the top of my head. I took the leaf in my hand, looked at it with a smile, and dropped it gently to the ground. “It has started already,” I thought to myself. “How early in the year it begins to be late.”
I knew that soon the green mountains of my home would be painted by God’s own hand. Soon every leaf on every tree would become a masterpiece. Bright, beautiful reds would come first, followed by sunny yellows and glorious golds. Brilliant burgundies, outrageous oranges, and earthy browns would finally complete this colorful canvas.
As I walked on my mind was filled with memories of Autumns past. I remembered the crisp crunch as I walked on the freshly fallen leaves. I remembered the delightful dry leaf smell that filled the air. I remembered raking huge piles of leaves in the park for my children to hide in, jump on, and run through. I even remembered dancing on that colorful carpet while it crackled underneath my feet.
I also thought of how autumn is the most bittersweet of seasons. It is so beautiful and yet so brief. It is so joyous and yet also a sign of the winter to come. It is the ultimate reminder that our time on Earth is short and that we need to live now before it is gone. That is why I plan to thank God for everyday of this beautiful season. That is why I plan to take more walks in the woods while the colors last. That is why I plan to love more, laugh more, give more, share more, and smile more in the days I have left here. That is why I plan to dance in the leaves again this fall and in Heaven when the time comes. May you do the same.