A beautiful death.

on October 21, 2010 in Ze Bloggy Goodness with 13 comments by

I can’t help but be amazed by the trees this time of the year.

Distracting almost, aren’t they?

The vibrant colors. The way the sun shines through the leaves. The darkening of the bark. It is absolutely beautiful.

And yet, is it weird that we are marveling at the end of the cycle, the death of all that tree has been for the last nine months? The tree isn’t this lovely year round, only when it is dying.

We all know how the story goes. I’m not going to go on and on about how in winter the trees will be bare it will feel like the world will never be green and alive again but on the inside, little children, life is still growing! And suddenly the trees bloom and we celebrate resurrection and we all know God better.

I know we all know it.

But for today, there is just something so borderline psychotic about Autumn. I mean, we all stand around and revel in the beauty of the leaves losing their life.

I’m not turning into a tree hugger here. I’m just beginning to question why I fear small personal emotional deaths yet I beg Fall to never end. I don’t mind watching the beauty of something else dying, but I’m unwilling to call my own death beautiful.

Not my physical death. At time of writing, I am very much alive and very much behind on some writing deadlines. But I’m talking about when my heart feels like parts are dying. Or when my dreams turn such a vibrant shade of orange that I know the best thing to do is let them fall off my tree. Because they are dying. But I don’t want to. And the process certainly isn’t pretty.

[By the way, this is absolutely the color of the trees and sky as my iPhone captured it yesterday. Weirdy McCrazycolor, huh?]

As I was walking to small group last night, I was overcome with the ridiculous amounts of fear I hold in my heart, especially towards deaths in my own life. I never stand back and gasp and say, “oh, look everyone! How gorgeous is THIS?” and then watch as parts of me die, or plans die, or expectations die.

Instead I scurry through the Annie tree, using any type of tape I can find to secure the leaves to the branches because PLEASE DON’T LET MY DREAMS/PLANS/HOPES DIE. I don’t like change when it involves MY leaves.

I don’t have a cute burnt orange bow to tie on this post. It’s not so much a problem with a solution as it is a pure observation.

Today is my sister’s 29th birthday. She is awesome. She lives in Hawaii so she can’t see any leaves change. Enjoy these pictures, Tatum. It really is so so beautiful right now. Love you.


  1. posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 4:13 AM  |  reply

    Yes. That. I understand.

  2. Ellen Bartlett
    posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 6:01 AM  |  reply

    Annie, what a positively beautiful article – it is so true. Even when you are old like me 🙂 you still don’t think it’s beautiful when the leaves of our tree die.

  3. posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 7:27 AM  |  reply

    whoa. i needed this…big time.

  4. Merideth Schoolcraft
    posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 7:49 AM  |  reply

    You have a real gift for putting words to things I experience. I despritly try to hold onto my leaves. Probably using duck tape most of the time, which does not look as pretty I’m sure. So painful to let go of those dreams and plans.
    PS: what part of Hawaii does your sister live in? I have a cousin living there right now.

  5. posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 8:16 AM  |  reply

    Happy Birthday to your sister!

    Beautiful words, Annie.

  6. posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 12:07 PM  |  reply

    always read, rarely comment, but THIS is exactly where I am and I needed to read it today. Thank you.

  7. posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 12:39 PM  |  reply

    I had the good fortune to visit Nashville a few weekends ago. As a transplant to California, seasons, particularly Fall, are but a distant memory. And it stinks. Being from WI, there is nothing I love more than the smell of crisp Fall air, the turning of leaves, and the cool days. Although only for a few days, being in Nashville with the turning leaves did my soul a world of good!

  8. posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 1:27 PM  |  reply

    Like Breanna, I am a California girl -not gurl cuz I am not totally sure what Katie Perry is talking about when she mentions popsicles and such. And daisy dukes-are you kidding me? Anyway, We dont have the leaves changing and though it is raining today, it is rare to see distinct seasons or even realize when they are changing. It just sort of happens here. I love your thoughts on wanting to secure the leaves. Very thought provoking post. I like it. And of course Happy Birthday to Tatum!!

  9. posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 4:21 PM  |  reply

    Love your thoughts on this! So true.

  10. posted on Oct 21, 2010 at 6:05 PM  |  reply

    What an amazing perspective, Annie! I’m going to ponder this one.

  11. posted on Oct 25, 2010 at 11:22 AM  |  reply

    Wow, sometimes I read your posts and think… is she living inside my head/heart?
    I love fall, I love the the stark contrast of the dark branches against the amazing sprays of color. It’s an amazing time of year when God is painting and creating on His massive canvas… but you’re right the trees are dying and we celebrate their death and rebirth but never our own. I rush around with the tape too and today I really needed to know that it’s okay to let the those leaves fall off and to celebrate that something beautiful will come from that… thanks Annie! I hope you have an amazing Fall!

  12. Karen
    posted on Oct 26, 2010 at 2:38 PM  |  reply

    I read Beth Moore’s blog on Saturday and was amazed at one tender thing she said about tragedy that seems to fit well with your autumn/death thing. Here is the one sentence pertaining to the subject:

    “I often ask God to spare my dear family of tragedy but not to spare us of His glory. Tragedies do sometimes come but we must never think for a moment that they’ve come lightly. We must steady our reeling selves to the anchor beyond the veil and know, when we know nothing else, that somehow, some way, glory must have been at stake.”

    Your autumn picture was spectacular and breathtaking in it’s truthiness. Thank you so much, Annie. This will stay with me for a very long time.

  13. Karen
    posted on Oct 26, 2010 at 2:41 PM  |  reply

    Sorry, I forgot to add the blog address (that’s proper etiquette, right?)


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