The Pickle is obsessed with leaves right now. It’s hard not to be, I guess, when the whole world is covered with them. But she’s really… really. Obsessed. She picks leaves up everywhere. We’ll be walking to the car, she’ll grab a leaf. We’ll be in a parking lot, she’ll spot the only leaf for two miles. “Yook, Mommy! A yeaf! Dat’s MY yeaf!” And of course, she’ll have to pick up the leaf- and every subsequent leaf she finds- and she’ll have to keep it. “Mommy carry dis!” or ” I wan’ show daddy my yeaf!” Sometimes I can curb the situation by saying, “Oh, honey, daddy will see all these leaves when he gets home. Let’s leave them out here so he can see them.” But sometimes I’m not so lucky. So we have leaves.
In the house. In her kitchen. In the pocket of my coat. In her carseat. All over the floor of the car. And in every picture we have taken since that first leaf fell in October.
But every now and then… when I choose to slow down and look at the leaves with her… I see what she sees and then some. She sees color or size or sheer quantity. “Yook at aw’ my yeaves!! (squeal)” But I see so much more.
I find the perfect ones. Or the huge ones. Or the ones with deep, rich, full color.
When we were in the mountains, daddy grabbed the Pickle and took her outside just to show her this ginormous leaf that was bigger than her head! (and that’s really saying something, because she has a huge head)
We see them. But we see them differently.
I am in awe of how perfect some of them are. Perfectly symmetrical with sharply pointed tips, strong, smooth stems, thick veins. The ones that manage the harsh winds, the great fall, the puppies and cars and stomping feet without even a single tear.
I am also in awe of the sizes. How greatly they vary from very very large to very very small. All amazing. Unique.
I love the ones I spot with deep, rich color. The ones whom the sun hit just right that left them all one color- an almost black purple or a nearly neon yellow or that vibrant, dancing red that peeks out of the brown, crunchy heap.
But sometimes it is the one with many colors that catches my eye the most. That perfect 7-pointed masterpiece without blemish or tear. Freshly fallen. Colors flowing smoothly into color. Clearly not resistant to change… but rather, blessed by it.
Oh, what I could learn from these leaves.
To be perfect in whom and Whose I am- no matter my size or shape or color.
To absorb the life God has given me so wholly that my vibrant colors stand out from the rest and are a blessing in a dreary world.
To lean into life’s changes with the joy of a small child. To let experience flow into experience as Summer flows into Fall. As color flows into color. To not resist change, but rather, to be blessed by it.
And to be a blessing.
To be a prized leaf in the hand of a child.