- shedding the leaves annually, as certain trees and shrubs
- falling off or shed at a particular season, stage of growth, etc. as leaves, horns, or teeth
- no permanent; transitory
The word deciduous on the surface was certainly an appropriate word given the season. As an adjective, it describes well what happens in fall: deciduous trees and shrubs shed leaves.
We are now well into autumn. I am just now writing about that which I have been thinking for weeks.
In Colorado during the first days of autumn the newspapers will often have a headline that reads, There Is Gold in Those Hills.
Near Aspen, Colorado
Nature dictates that each leaf on each deciduous tree will change from green to gold, red, or orange. The aspen tree, robed in brilliant gold in the mountains of Colorado, demands our attention even as she knows she dare not boast of her fugacious attire because in no time, her frock has fallen to the ground.
Perhaps it is my age that causes me to think, “all of this will be over in a heartbeat."
When one reaches the autumn of life, the change that autumn brings brings new meaning.
One cannot help but draw an analogy of the evanescent aspect of the season of autumn to one’s own life when reaches the eighth decade of living.
They said the position was for twenty (20) hours a week, or a half- FTE (full-time equivalency). I have worked at the University level enough to know that 20 hours would really mean that I would put in no fewer than thirty hours a week. I also knew that I would have to develop lesson plans and a schedule that would work for myself and those I would be teaching, coaching, and mentoring. As I sipped my Starbucks drink, and spoke with these wonderful professionals, I kept telling myself to not jump in with both feet. I reminded myself not to forget that I was no longer in the summer of life.
As I left the Starbucks where I had learned the specifics of a possible new opportunity, the skies over the mountains turned black. I watched heavy storm clouds begin to blow into the valley where I live. Soon, a thick veil of rain and hail hid the clouds that had descended down the mountainside and into the valley. I knew better that to drive into that storm. I knew better than to even begin to enter the mouth of the valley because soon the road that led to my home would become a raging river. I drove to the top of a bluff and sought shelter in a REI store.
As I shopped, I kept weighing the benefits of taking this job, all the time knowing I didn’t really want to work that many hours. Yet, I wanted to feel productive again. I wanted and needed professional and personal exchanges. I missed that part of my life. Deep in thought, I wondered through the store while the storm raged outside. Hail was pounding the roof. Then I heard, “Hi Sally.” I turned to see Leanna standing there. Leanna was one of my daughter Julie’s best friends from high school. She has been such a faithful friend to our family since we lost Julie seven years ago. “What are you doing these days?” she asked.
I spilled out my story about the job offer. I told her how conflicted I was. “Twenty hours are a lot of hours,” she said. She even added that she was working that many hours in a demanding job and it was a lot. I knew she was right. I knew she had given me the answer I needed to hear.
I told her how Julie used to ask, “Mom, when are you really going to retire?” Julie wanted me to retire and enjoy life. It was as if Julie had sent Leanna to me. Leanna said, “I’m running the biggest race of my life tomorrow. Julie has been on my mind. I think of her everyday when I run. She is the one who got me into running again. I think she put you in my path today as I worry about the weather and the run.” I think we both had tears in our eyes as we hugged and went our separate ways. I know I did. Those chance meetings can be just what we need somedays.