Crimson Flame of Solace

When I left Florida MANY years ago, I discovered that the pictures in magazines and movies paled in comparison to the in-person, up-close, majestic beauty of Fall foliage. Even as a child I longed to live in a place that allowed me to experience the changing seasons — to live in a place where my cooler weather is heralded in like no other. When I was able to fulfill that dream I was in no way disappointed; Andy actually likens me to a young child when I do see the colors suddenly pop out from the varying shades of green that cover the trees for much of the year. I like the comparison because I do have a sense of awe and wonder at the exquisite palate spread through the trees during Fall, and it doesn’t hurt that the cooler weather normally accompanies this painted canvas. I love that too!

Usually there is a tree or 2 that truly captures my attention because of its unusual or intense shading during this season. Memphis has been no exception, but it has been a little different. Since 2006 I have had the privilege to witness the most intense red leaves I have ever seen and it has always been on the same tree. This tree is my personal beacon that I am just a minute or 2 from my place of solace — a minute or 2 from being home. This year is a little bittersweet. My tree, my blazing crimson torch painted itself like usual; it always happens some time after most of the trees have already begun to adorn themselves in their Fall colors. When my tree comes to blaze, the cold weather is not far behind; another reason I love this tree so! Bittersweet, as mentioned before, because this will most likely be the last chance for me to observe its poignant beauty. This time next year, if all goes as planned, I will no longer be living here. I will no longer be able to take that last curve on the way home and see its crimson leaves waving me on, telling me that– no matter what has happened before now — home is just a minute or 2 away. Reassuring me that momentarily I will be in my solace — my safe place — HOME.

Yes I know that there will be other trees in other locations, and I look forward to that with giddy anticipation. But right here, right now, this small manifestation of Fall is all mine. For now I will share just a glimpse of it with you; no camera can capture its true majesty. I wish you could see this magnificent tree in all of its glory, but a picture is all I can do. If you will, imagine the most vibrant red you can and put it on this tree and you might just see a touch of my beacon. The first is the tree as I see it coming home; the subsequent ones are from the view as I leave and head out for my day.

For me Fall trees are a source of amazement and beauty, especially when life is rushing around me. I hope that you have something in which you find amazement and beauty. My hope for you as we enter into the Holiday season is that you will be able to find hope, solace and peace in your life. You may not be as fascinated or interested in Fall foliage as I am, but whatever you do see, I hope that it takes your breath away. You deserve something that blows you away. YES you do! I hope you find it and it sticks with you for a LONG time, just as this tree will with me.

Now, think about whatever it is that you personally enjoy…There!! You feel better already, don’t you? I thought so.

Let’s see what’s next…Thanks for reading!


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