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Inspired by a drive down Santa Fe Ave

The trees stand with their leaves aflame

A multitude of colors, the breeze carries them gently to the ground

Their beauty is breathtaking to behold, their courage expressed in a last riot of color before their death

Soon there are more leaves on the ground than on the tree

They stand bare and defenseless against the cold

Each witnessing the other's being stripped to its bark and branches

On the coldest day the sap inside begins to warm

Tapping into something deeper than the beautiful leaves

The sap develops and nurtures the tree from the inside enabling it to sprout tiny buds

They will become leaves and eventually fruit will grow

And as the tree stands in its fullness during summer it knows that the cycle will begin again

The leaves will change colors, they will fall

The tree will stand bare and in its nothingness new growth will emerge

When we authentically connect with each other

When we allow ourselves to see others and be truly seen

A burst of dazzling colors, a feast for the eyes and soul

The brave allow those leaves to fall

Exposing our inner selves until there is no mask, no show or facade to hide behind

Standing there defenseless we are not alone

We are all trees on a block standing near each other watching the process unfold

Then we each go home

We stand in the cold with nothing left

Only one option remains, our sap is ready

We nurture and prepare it for the next stage of growth

It won't be easy and it won't be quick but come spring, the buds will emerge

A testament to the growth that was started in the fall

Summer will bring bountiful fruit and shade

After the summer solstice, as the sunlight begins to wane

We know we have the strength to do it all over again

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