Okay ... this one is posted with all you Southern Hemisphere people in mind. My last blog was in tune with Spring, but in some parts of the world ... its Autumn! A little background for you. We had a stunning fall last year. The colours were fantastic and I went out shooting with my camera. I was pretty rapt with some of the results. About a week later, the temperature dropped and one night we had a big wind. In the morning when I woke up, most of the leaves were stripped from the tree and scattered as far as the eye could see. My eye was drawn to the bank outside my house. The sun was backlighting the leaves and it was magical. I dived inside for my camera and began to snap. I lay on the ground and snapped. I froze ... it had plummeted to -10C and my hands were so cold and frozen at the end of it all ... they were in pain warming up! However, these leaves caught me. What caught me was the unbelievable beauty in nature's discards. Something thrown away had beauty. I was caught up in the magic of it all and started to write. Today, I was able to pick up the story and complete it. I hope you are blessed. Why don't you grab a cuppa, sit down and let me tell you a story . . .
From her perch high up, Autumn peeked through the crowd. They were dressed in vibrant colours of the season – orange, gold, rust and red.
Autumn shivered as a cool breeze gently tickled her. She felt a little drab in her green coat. Sure, there were hints of beauty with the splashes of red, but she just did not glow like the others. Many people came by with cameras. Again and again lenses focused and shutters clicked. Those leaves front and centre, preened and glowed. They swayed in the breeze and basked in the reflected admiration of the viewers.
Oh how Autumn wished for just one moment in the spotlight. People loved the beautiful … admired their dress and their ability to glow. Never did Autumn feel so alone, unnoticed and worthless.
One morning Autumn awoke to the gentle caress of dawn. She gazed down at herself in wonder. Her coat of green was transformed into glowing red. But not like all the other reds. Autumn was special. Her coat was two-toned. Not only did she have a great new coat, but the crowd had thinned out. She was centre stage. She was somebody! Autumn smiled. She shone. She swayed to the beat of the breeze. And when the crowds came, they saw her. Paparazzi moments … lenses focused, shutters clicked … people exclaimed in wonder. Autumn had arrived. This was it. This was the moment she was born for. No longer hidden from view, looking on with the green of envy. She was born to shine!
Crisp sunny days came and went – each day drawing more and more people with cameras. Autumn shone and at night, she smiled to herself as she drifted off to sleep.
One night, Autumn awoke to a flash of searing pain. Icy fingers were tearing at her. Ripping, tugging and twisting …they teased and tore until poor Autumn went tumbling and rolling to the earth below.
When the first light of morning peeped over the hill, Autumn found that she was just one of many discarded leaves – all of whom had been beautiful once upon a time. These leaves had coats that were tatty and worn. Their colours were faded mementoes of glory days gone by. She heard a faint rustling noise and as she glanced around, Autumn realised, to her horror, that she had fallen into a leaf graveyard. The faint rustling she could hear, was the dying murmour of leaves breathing their last. Autumn was stunned. Was this her destiny? To die discarded and unnoticed? Surely somebody cared. Surely somebody would notice her and lift her from where she had fallen. She did not belong here. She was alive. She was vibrant … She was Autumn! People loved her. They took photos. Her coat was unique. Somebody would remember.
As the morning wore on, a new sound reached Autumn’s ears. There was a crackle and then a very ominous crunch. This was repeated in sinister rhythm, growing louder and louder. To Autumn’s horror, a huge pair of feet came crunching across the piles of discarded leaves. In their wake, dismembered, shattered bodies were tossed carelessly to the winds. The trail of carnage stopped next to Autumn. As she looked up, a sense of hope stirred within her. The owner of the feet unzipped a large blue bag and drew out a camera. “Finally,” Autumn thought. “I am found. I am remembered. I will be rescued.” She did her best to perk up … to be noticed … to be worthy.
The feet moved. The camera pointed … up … away from Autumn.
“Hey!” cried Autumn. “Here I am! Down here.”
A voice above muttered, “wrong angle … if I can just …”
“Ow,” cried poor Autumn. “It hurts. You are hurting me. I can’t breathe. You are killing me.”
The pressure eased off, and poor wounded Autumn could only lie whimpering in pain, as the camera was put away and the feet moved off into the distance, taking her hope and dreams with them.
Many days went by, and Autumn now lay numb, broken and in despair. Her beautiful coat was tattered and spotted. The colour had faded to a nondescript brown. Autumn was dying. She was alone. Discarded. Forgotten.
As she lay still … waiting for her life to end, a faint gleam caught her eye. Autumn gazed around, and as she did, a sense of wonder stole over her. The sun was sliding up over the hill. And as it slid higher, an incredible thing was happening on the bank. Discarded leaves, broken leaves, leaves that were dead and dying, started to glow.
Autumn’s eyes widened, as sun’s long golden fingers gently caressed fragile, broken leaves. And everywhere they stroked, life appeared. Beauty emerged. Hope bloomed. Things forgotten, things discarded, were renewed with a loving touch.
Autumn hardly dared breathe. Was it possible that light might find her? She looked down at herself and a small dark voice whispered into her ear. “You are not beautiful Autumn. Your coat is dull. You are dying. You are forgotten. You are one of many. There is no hope for you.” Autumn wept.
A gentle voice spoke into her darkness and she felt the warmth of light creep across her broken body.
“Who are you?”
“I am the sun. I am light. I am life. I am.”
“You know my name?”
“Yes, Autumn. I know your name. I know you. When you were on the tree, I knew you. When you fell, I knew you. As you have lain here dying and thinking you were forgotten, I have known you. I knew where you were and I have watched you. You are beautiful Autumn.”
Autumn looked down at her tattered, faded coat and turned her head away in shame.
“Please do not look at me. I am not beautiful. I am ugly. I am unworthy of your light.”
“Autumn. I created you. You are beautiful. As I am, you are. Your beauty does not come from your outward appearance. It comes from me. I am in you. Let me shine my light on you and through you.”
Autumn looked down, and as she stared at herself, she felt a golden warmth start to radiate through her body. As she watched in amazement, she was transformed. Her old tattered coat, took on a new beauty. Light started to emanate. Once again she was glowing.
“How can this be?” marvelled Autumn.
“In order to see my light, you needed to die, Autumn. There is depth to your colour now. The beauty that we see is because you are reflected in my light. This is true beauty.
Autumn smiled to herself. “What a wondrous thing it is to be loved. I thought I was loved on the tree. I felt worthy. But the people I thought loved me, discarded me. They did not know me. They did not care for me – just my coat. They trampled on me when I was broken. They tossed me aside for prettier coats. Sun, I have learnt what it is to be loved. I am somebody, because you touched me. When I was broken, and dying, you shone on me. I live, because you love.”
Sun just smiled.
“I love, that you live.”