The Beauty Under Our Feet
Of all the things I love about my favorite season, fall foliage stands at the top of the list. Is there any sight as gorgeous as flaming red and orange maple trees against a backdrop of brilliant blue sky? Or masses of golden yellow aspen leaves mingling with dark evergreens? Every October I feel desperate to drink in the sights as much as I can, before winter strips the branches bare. I’ve been known to stumble over a jack-o-lantern or bump into a stranger while craning my neck to catch a glimpse of autumn leaves.
I never thought of foliage-watching by looking down until a few years ago while living in Utah. One Sunday after church, I packed a picnic lunch and my husband and I set out for a drive in the mountains, stopping to pick up one of my best friends. As we left the picnic area, I stopped in my tracks, astonished at how fallen leaves had transformed a bare, damp spot of ground. I hated to walk on the beautiful arrangement, but it was the only way to get where we needed to go. I felt as though I had stepped on a valuable work of art. But at least I’d snapped a picture before anyone disturbed it.
Ever since that afternoon, I look in all directions for autumn color to admire—including down. A few leaves floating on a small pool of water. A jumble of color spread across a large flat rock. Masses of leaves in all shapes and hues strewn over a scrubby or muddy area. I consider these sightings as reminders of an important truth that I need to remember year round, especially when I’m struggling to understand or accept what’s happening in my life. If God causes falling autumn leaves to create these works of art under my feet, then surely I can trust Him to orchestrate circumstances and events in my life to create something beautiful.
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including The One Year Women of the Bible and Designed for Devotion, which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs, contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.