by Robert Frost
“O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.”
October is my favorite my month of the year. Not only because its the month of my birthday but because its, in my opinion, the most beautiful month of the year. Its the highlight of the autumn season and full of life.
One of the things I love about fall is the fact that the leaves changing color is actually them returning to their natural color. Chlorophyll and Carotenoid are two common pigments in the cells of leaves. Carotenoid is the pigment that makes up the autumn colors of leaves, such as yellow and oranges. Chlorophyll and carotenoid are in leaf cells all the time during the growing season. But the chlorophyll covers the carotenoid — that’s why summer leaves are green, not yellow or orange. As the Earth makes its yearly orbit around the sun, some parts of earth get fewer hours of sunlight at certain times of the year. Trees respond to the decreasing amount of sunlight by producing less and less chlorophyll. Eventually, a tree stops producing chlorophyll. When that happens, the carotenoid already in the leaves can finally show through.
So the leaves don’t change or die when they turn to orange, red, or yellow. They simply turn into their natural color. I love that! The change is them returning to their natural state. They change to what they truly are. Funny how relatable nature can be sometimes.
Change is a natural part of life and despite how I hate it sometimes, and how hard it can be, it is a natural part of life. And it will happen, regardless of what we do or want. But like the leaves do, they return to their natural state without hesitation and fall willingly; knowing that rebirth is just a season away. And this process is one of the most beautiful things we can experience on earth.
What I’ve learned in my short season of life is that change is hard and sometimes overwhelming. But it is a natural part of life and brings forth the most beautiful moments we will ever know. And like the leaves, change is a reoccurring part of life; as the seasons, the continuous orbit of the earth around the sun and the steady pulse of a beating heart.
Just put your hand on your heart for a moment. Feel the pulse of your heartbeat. There’s nothing more beautiful than a beating heart. You know why?
Because it’s still beating. It’s still working.
You’re still breathing.
Regardless of the change we may go through, as long as that beating heart doesn’t change, you and I and everyone will be ok. Leaves fall off trees, but grow back every spring. Flowers lose their petals, but come back even more full and beautiful than before. The grass disappears under the cold of winter but grows back greener when the warmth of spring melts the cold. The seasons come and go every year. And pain comes and goes, as does happiness. But you’re still breathing and that’s something to be at peace about.
As Frost says in his gorgeous poem, “…tomorrows they may come and go.” But going or coming tomorrow is always there.
And if you get a tomorrow, that means one thing:
You’re still breathing.