Why Do Leaves Change Color?

Why Do Leaves Change Color?

           As I write this article, Gum trees at the parsonage are only now just beginning to reveal Fall’s arrival with red tipped leaves.  It is subtle and easy to miss, but preparations are underway. Trees don’t need to be told when winter is coming. Trees can feel it in their roots and know it is time to care for itself. Through Spring and Summer we sat under the shade of green leaves as chlorophyll overwhelmed the tree as a way to collect energy. Now that there is less sunlight, trees are producing less chlorophyll, and as a result carotene and anthocyanin remain in the leaves. Carotene is responsible for the variety of yellows, oranges, and browns while anthocyanin the vibrant reds. By producing less chlorophyll, trees are conserving their energy for those dark winter days and we get to enjoy the colors!

            I strongly believe in nature’s wisdom.  We would do well to follow the example of the trees. We all face a difficult season ahead of us, one that is long and perhaps lacking the warmth of family get-togethers. So, if you feel the cold breeze hitting your still-green leaves, maybe it is time to admit, “this is not the best use of my energy.” Your choice to tend to yourself is by no means giving up or a sign of weakness, but like the Gum tree out front, absolutely necessary for life to flourish next season. With all you are going through, I invite you to pause and let go of that which does not bring you energy. Let go of those thoughts or those worries that do more harm than good. Take care of yourself and you will get through this.

            Like the changing of the leaves, may you find beauty in letting go. May you continue your journey with the wisdom of nature, the foresight of self-care, and the nourishing grace of our Creator.

God of changing seasons,
prepare us for the journey ahead.
Comfort us in our uncertainties.
Nourish us when our energy is running low.
Love us when we feel alone.
Such is your promise made known to us
through Jesus the Christ in whose name we pray.

Blessings for the Journey,

Pastor Keith