On a recent walk with Rylie, I came to the same realization and had the same conversation in my head that I’ve had every fall for as long as I can remember. I decided why not share it this year?!!
I believe what makes the fall landscape beautiful is not the vibrant red trees. Or the bright orange trees. Or the gorgeous yellow trees. Rather it is the combination of these standing next to one another. The transition from one color to another creating a beautiful spectrum of colors on each tree. One tree alone: pretty amazing. Step back and view the whole line of trees or a forest all together as one picture: STUNNING! But that still doesn’t sum it up, right?! This group of trees looks different against a stormy sky vs. a sunny one. A sunrise vs. a sunset. A total blue sky vs. one dusted with cirrus clouds vs. one spotted with puffy white cumulus clouds.
If I allow myself to expand even further, I notice the “weeds” along the sides of many country roads, fields and parks. Spectacular purples, whites, yellows. Yes, the very weeds that also cause my eyes to tear up, my throat to itch, and my sinuses to scream at me. But as I look at what is my very favorite landscape, I know that each of these aspects taken all in, together, create such beauty and joy for me that I can’t help feeling AWE at the Universe’s…God’s…magnificence. That whole scene creates the landscape so many pictures capture and hearts expand looking at. I can’t take a walk without stopping to soak in the beauty and say my gratitude, often out loud! Allowing myself to breathe in the smells (I have always wished for a way to bottle up the smell of fall), listen to the crickets, birds, squirrels and crunch of leaves…I am in a state of BLISS!
Can we think of kids in this same way? Imagine if we see the diversity of each child as we do with fall trees! If we recognize every “quirky kid” as a soul changing into their own beauty and magnificence, just as the trees’ color does. If we step back and look at the big picture of kids’ lives and simply soak in the beauty of it. If we accept kids change according to a greater plan than our own.
We don’t tell all the leaves to change at the same time.
Nor do we assume there should be an order to where the trees are planted, so that all of the colors are near their own kind.
We don’t appreciate fall just when the sky is perfectly blue or when the leaves are only on the tree.
Rather, we let Mother Nature do her thing, create the magic she does and watch in awe!
So, too, with kids, I think we need to allow them the space to figure out who they are and what their purpose is!
What color their light will be!
Where they will let their light shine!
Whether kids are in the beauty of a blue, sunny sky – their friends or passions, or in the midst of a stormy sky – challenges, obstacles, sibling or friend issues, we know there is an ebb and flow to life. Sure some kids have thistles just like some of those pretty purple weeds and they can bring parents, friends or siblings to tears at times. But there is a divine purpose for everything – each and every event that takes place. Eventually we can admire the beauty of it all.
I stand in awe and gratitude for the beauty I see in children. All children! I don’t allow the fear of differences, uncertainty, unpredictability or the layers that hide their core self to keep me from seeing who they truly are. I am fortunate and blessed to serve kids and families and help them see their imperfections are perfect, too!
For me, fall is the most gorgeous reminder of how amazing diversity is! And I have for so many years now, felt the connection between this spectacular season and kids!
My hope for you is to be able to step back and view your own kids, your classroom or your neighborhood kids and see them as a beautiful fall landscape! Soak in the gloriousness of each individual that helps create a magical family, class or group!
Happy Fall everyone!!!