It had to happen sooner or later. Back-to-back rain storms with high winds, followed by our first big frost and dusting of snow, ended our yearly love affair with the colors of Autumn. The trees that just a week ago were still struggling to hold on to all those beautiful leaves are now standing bare. What is it about humans that yearn all year long for that small window of beauty just to have to let it go after only several weeks? I sometimes think that our memories of what we love are just as colorful, if not more so, than the real thing.
It's a part of human nature to let time color our memories so that when we take them out to look at them years later, they may look quite different from the actual event. Some memories we color with dark colors because they evoke a time of fear, loneliness, or grief. Some we color with bright colors because they remind us of happier times. I wonder what would happen if we took some of those dark memories and gave them a different color, one that would help us to remember them, perhaps not with fondness, but with a better understanding of the lessons they taught us. Maybe, like the memory of the colors of Autumn, we can brighten those memories so that they remind us of how far we have come and how even farther we are capable of going. Like the trees, they can come back in the Spring as something new and filled with promise like the first buds on the branches. Perhaps we can color our futures even brighter if we take those memories out of the dark and put them in their proper perspective. Even a bare tree in winter holds the promise of new life in Spring.
And so it is.