These glorious, cooler first days of fall always feel like such a relief. A re-leaf! I always feel energized as the season begins. It’s wonderful to sleep with the windows open again and have the crisp air filling your lungs as you awaken.

Soon the colors will burn bright before they turn to brown. Leaves don’t struggle with the cycle they repeat every year. I wonder why we do? My neighbor has a Japanese maple tree that turns the most obscenely gorgeous colors every year. I can hardly wait. If you have a tree that you can look at every day, notice how subtly, but how insistently, the leaves change. To move from the fullness and greenness of the summer to the burnished colors – are they burning from within? - to the leaching out of moisture and color, until the gentle release, the letting go of the branch, the inevitable separation from it’s source, to be blown about, walked through, or stomped on and eventually to disintegrate into seeming nothingness, to be used as fertilizer for the next set of leaves that are even now waiting to be born inside the tree. What an amazingly effortless process. At least it looks effortless from the outside.

Why then is change so hard for us? Why do we cling to our habits and our familiar choices as if nothing else could possibly be right? Why do we dig in our feet and say “Anything but change.” Imagine the leaves saying that to the tree. We are supposed to have a period of sloughing off, a breaking free from old ways of doing, being, and thinking that actually hold us back. Jesus’ first preached message is, Change! In Mark 1:15 and Matthew 4:17, he says, Repent!, which literally means to change your mind! So go ahead. Embrace the fall in your own life and experience the re-leaf!