I stand in a cathedral of aspens among grey-green trunks that glisten silvery in the sunlight. A hint of a passing breeze sends down a shower of golden confetti to cover the ground. I walk on a carpet of jewels – gold and garnet, emerald and citrine – that shimmers underfoot.
A single leaf nestles in my outstretched hand. Its red-gold beauty whispers, “Do not fade away. Go out in a blaze of glory.”
* * *
Never mind the lilies of the field. Consider the trees. They don’t fade away into a dirty brown or grey. No, come autumn, they paint the hillsides with amazing hues – yellow, gold, red, orange, even purple. The sight of them gives us thrills. We gasp in awe and amazement, exclaim, “Oh wow! Look at that!” We glory in their beauty. Perhaps they survive the summer just to be able to sport their autumn colours in their last days.
There’s no reason for us to wait for our final days before we show our colours. Why wait to be a grandmother to be a Raging Granny? Or an old woman who wears “purple/ With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me” (per Jenny Joseph)? Take your cue from e. e. cummings who maintained there are two kinds of people: those who are truly alive and those who are merely not-dead.
Neither is there any reason to fade away as we age. Robert Browning reminds us that “The best is yet to be,/ The last of life, for which the first was made.” Every one of us must know some feisty, so-called “old” person who just will not slow down, who is still opinionated (and doesn’t hesitate to share those opinions), and who can run circles – mentally if not physically – around us so-called younger folk. Who still sports his/her colours with pride and passion.
It’s not easy to strut your colours. It takes courage, chutzpah, perhaps even a bit of egotism. What is really essential is faith in yourself — that who you are and what you do and say will bring colour into someone else’s life. When we show our colours, we give others hope and joy, and perhaps even the courage to show their own colours.
Down with drab. Let’s colour the world. Let’s be truly alive.
#Meditation #OldAge #Contemplation #Autumn #GoldenYears #LessonsFromTrees #MargaretGHanna
6 thoughts on “Consider the Trees . . .”
A feisty piece , I had to look up chutzpah it fits the bill.
‘ Consider the lilies ‘ brought back memories of churchyness
I could feel you digging me in my 77 year old ribs. I bet you still take big strides mine are much more slow and deliberate but I like to wonder and wander.
I kept thinking of my mother as I wrote this, a feisty old gal if ever there were one. Keep on striding, no matter how slow those stride are.
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Well said, Margaret. Age and aging in my world…simply put, is a state of mind.
And some days, we’re older than other days. And some days, younger than
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Yes, let the world eat your dust!
Speaking of drab. . . .
Part 1: Back in September 1967 I was en route on the CPR passenger train from Montreal to Calgary to attend the U of Câs archaeology program. I stopped off at Regina at 5:00 a.m. , and got off the train. I was amazed by the smell, which my travelling companions from Regina explained: âThatâs the harvest.â Not only was it golden yellow, but it also smelled wonderful.
Part 2: When I got off the train, I was dressed in the clothes that I had acquired in Montreal, where I was lost in the whirlwind of colour that was Montreal in the mid 1960s. No one blinked an eye when they saw me. However, here in Regina, I stood out like a sore thumb amidst the sea of beige and brown â dressed in my florescent yellow shirt, red tie, florescent green pants and a brown brocade corduroy jacket, not to mention the goatee, guitar and Aussie hat.
While I never got a photo of the full outfit, the upper part is somewhat visible in these two old photos from 1969, the latter at the Roma Site excavation, PEI. Too bad they were not taken with better quality cameras – the yellow is way too pale.
Toni & Frank, Truax, 1970 Roma Site, PEI, August 1969
But my best memory of colour occurred on October 22, 1954, as we sailed on the Holland-America ship: âGroote Beerâ from Quebec City to Montreal. After bobbing on the Atlantic during the tail end of Hurricane Hazel, we were very pleased to be cruising on the calm St. Lawrence River and, amid the sunshine, saw the glorious fall colours of the Canadian Shield along the north shore of the river. Nothing I have seen since has ever surpassed that image, which is permanently burned into my mind.
I trust you are feeling better, and that the snow that engulfed southern Alberta is beginning to dissipate. Our temperatures are still well below normal, but we are also snow free again.
Frank Korvemaker, M.S.M.; SAA (Hon )
Retâd Archivist / Construction Historian
59 Compton Road
Regina, Saskatchewan S4S 2Y2
Tel: (306) 586-1405 E-Mail: email@example.com
Hon. Corporate Archivist for the Saskatchewan Association of Architects
For Information on the Association: http://saskarchitects.com/