There is a maple tree located at the end of our street. I pass this tree almost every day as I return home from dropping the kids off at school. All through the year, it is a tree like any other, leafy, green and nestled beside its neighbor trees. It is identical to all the others. Because it is like the others, I don't notice it. I don't marvel at its shape, its size or its color. I pass this tree hundreds of times throughout the year and for most of those days, I don't even see it. I don't see it...that is.....until it is fall.
As fall gently approaches New England, this maple tree begins to transform. Bright yellow leaves begin to appear on the top and sides of the tree. Soon, more yellow and orange leaves start to frame its impressive large and sturdy trunk. The maple tree begins to stand out from its neighbors as if to say, I'm tired of looking like every other tree. I need you to see me. I need you to see my beauty.
It isn't long before this maple explodes with the bright beautiful colors of fall. Stunning orange, yellow and green leaves enhance the character of this sturdy old tree. The colors seem to demand that you look at this tree. They demand that you stop from your busy life and really see the beauty of nature. The colors demand that you see what you have been missing all of these months.
As I l look at this tree, I think of my children. How they appear like all other children as they attend school each day. But I am reminded that it is their differences that allow me to see how beautiful they really are and how much I need to see them. Somehow these differences that hurt, and exclude them from a "typical" life are the same differences that also makes them beautiful to behold.
For some reason I feel an attachment to this wise and sturdy old tree. It is like an old soul calling out for me to change too. It is time for a transformation, an awareness, a time for me to see the beauty of all that is around me. A time for me to stop others and demand they see the beauty in my children. A time to embrace the colors that have changed me and my life. A time to see.