What Does Autumn Have to Do with Repentance?

by Darla Isackson (Posted on Meridian in 2002)

We drove the Alpine Loop last week. In the lower elevations shades of green still dominate. But after we took the 7-mile cutoff to Cascade Springs, we turned a corner and suddenly an entire landscape blazed breath-taking red.

I love autumn, and it has come to symbolize repentance to me. One long-ago fall I had two experiences that led me to write a poem called Autumn Awakening. First, I was sitting in silence by a picnic table up Millcreek Canyon watching golden leaves fall from quaking aspen. I had always assumed that the wind blew the leaves off the trees. That day there was not a sign of a breeze, yet one by one the leaves simply let go and fluttered to the ground. A few days later we had an early, heavy, wet snow that broke many leaf-filled branches in our valley. Subsequently I wrote:

My golden maple groans, bowed down by sudden snow;
Caught unaware, boughs break, fall to the ground below.
My winter maple’s limbs, up-reaching, not bowed down,
Wear snow’s adversities as nobly as a crown. Continue reading