While volunteering at my daughter’s preschool, I was talking with a group of kids over the play dough table about what was going to happen to the leaves on the tree outside the window.
“They are going to turn red!” one yelled.
“And pink!” another added.
“And we’ll get to jump in them!” they continued.
“What will happen to the tree?” I asked further.
“It will stay right there until spring.”
I thought that was actually pretty profound.
As they went about building bear caves out of play dough, I thought about the fall.
Spring has always been my favorite season. I love the newness of it; the new growth on the trees, the new flowers popping up, new animal babies.
I love fresh starts.
I love clean slates.
I love a big blank sheet of paper.
I love new beginnings.
Fall has always been the opposite. Growing up in the snow country, fall meant the snow was around the corner. Fall seems like a time to say good-bye to the summer fun, to hunker down and get ready for winter.
And I thought about the tree, getting ready to drop her leaves. And while dropping leaves means getting ready for the winter, I also realized it is the first step in the tree’s new beginning.
And even without leaves, the tree stands tall all winter. Her roots remain strong, literally grounding her and her trunk remains stable…something the preschool kids can count on out the window every single day, all year long.
Kinda like mom.
As moms we change and refresh too. We are allowed to grow new leaves and branches and get taller and more encompassing, but our roots keep us grounded and stable, our trunk stays there strong, supporting all the newness that is about to come. Even when we sometimes feel like we have given all of our selves so the kids can jump in our fallen leaves.
As I watch my 1st grader beam at me as he learns to read his favorite books on his own and my preschooler shouts “mom, watch me!” as she masters the ‘fast bike’ at school. I know I am their stability, their roots.
But I get to grow new leaves too, I get to add new branches. I get to provide more for my family, but I get to reach higher for myself too.
So, this Fall, instead if thinking of all the things that are going away, all the things soon to be hidden under winter’s blanket, I am going to focus on my roots, the things that ground me and provide stability for my family.
And I know the tiny buds of newness are getting ready, getting ready right now, to make their appearance soon.
And maybe I love fall after all.