Tuesday, October 17, 2000

To Everything There is a Season

As I drive along the freeway, I notice that the leaves are changing from the dull brown-green of the dying days of summer into the brilliant yellow, orange and red of autumn. It’s the last brilliant display before they fall and the trees stand bare and empty, hanging on through winter until the buds begin to blossom with the promise of new life for the tree.

I love autumn and I love spring. It’s more than the weather (though certainly weather plays a big part in it), but I love the signs of promise that I see in the trees. It’s an affirmation that life can have brilliant moments, so wonderful you want to shout to the skies that the world is a beautiful place. For the trees of autumn, even though the display of color is short-lived, and the cold of winter is coming, the leaves seem unaware and content to glow as brilliantly as they can before they must fall from the tree. And in the spring, the buds which begin to appear give promise that the tree will live again and that some day there will come another fabulous display of color.

Davis has some of the most beautiful deciduous trees around. The color that surrounds us in the middle of autumn rivals some of the sights that we saw on the east coast last fall. My favorite tree is the Chinese pistachio tree, which line one of the main streets here, and is found everywhere around town. Its autumn color can be flaming red, or flaming orange, or a glowing gold, or a combination of all three.

Many years ago we decided to plant a tree in our back yard and I said it had to be a Chinese pistachio. I couldn’t wait until it became mature enough to present us with a yearly display of color. But it never has. We probably have the only Chinese pistachio tree in Davis that goes from green to brown without passing through any spectacular display at all.

But after David died, friends of ours decided they wanted to have a tree planted in his name. We had it planted outside the theatre, which seemed appropriate. They asked what kind of tree I wanted to have planted and of course I asked for a Chinese pistachio tree. It’s in its second year now and is already showing a hint of color. I hope that as it matures it will present us with many years of gorgeous color display. It seems so fitting for David’s memory.

Peggy is back. I dropped Steve at the airport at the crack of dawn yesterday and then drove to Alameda to gather up all of her stuff (she only did "a little shopping" she says. Yeah. Right.) It’s nice to have her "home" briefly. I’ve missed her laughter and her camaraderie and I haven’t been out walking since she left--well, except for following Steve around the Stanford campus, of course.

I also haven’t had someone to go taking pictures with. We watched the passing parade of colorful trees as we drove into town yesterday afternoon and decided that we need to get our cameras and go out and take pictures. It will be a good excuse for a walk, and a wonderful chance to capture some of that fleeting beauty to remember on days when the leaves are bare and the weather turns cold.

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