You know how foliage glows luminously when the rising or setting sun shines behind it? I was struck with wonder at the Williams River valley as I came over the interstate bridge this late afternoon. The flamboyant red maples are sticks now, the stately sugar maples have lost almost everything, but the oaks and beeches are in their peak, magnificent in copper and bronze. I always think of Lothlorien when the foliage takes on the appearance of precious metals.
This has become my favorite part of foliage season, and tonight I realized how much it resembles middle age. I once had the appeal of youth, the glow and glory of good skin and lively spirits. Now I live the mellowness beyond first flush, and the steadiness of the day’s end when the wind dies and the slanting sun is no longer harsh. I am too tired to be harsh, too content to be windy, too settled to be dancing in a flowing red skirt.
Like coins without number, the reflected glory that filled the valley speaks of the inestimable value of the faithful servants of God who persevere in their given tasks, knowing there will come a season when all they are falls to the ground in a final accounting.