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The story of this painting:
Autumn is an unusual season -- one of joy and thankfulness, because we celebrate harvesting the hard work of summer and spring, yet also one of meditative thought, because everything is winding down, leaves are changing color, and winter is making plans to settle in.
It is ironic that, in this time of closure, there is more and vibrant color than at any other time of the year. Oranges, reds, scarlet, gold, burgundy, even pink are set against a sky so blue that the riot of color simply shouts . . . quietly.
Autumn is a thoughtful season, one of contemplation, and the young woman in this painting is doing just that. The delicate texture and design of a fallen leaf are easily overlooked, as are so many aspects of life unless we take time to stop, reflect, meditate, ponder, and wonder, and in the middle springtime of her life, this woman slows down and savors calm introspection. Behind her, the tree stands sentinel, its branches held high as it bursts forth the season's last hurrah.
It's almost trite to say that our lives are like the seasons, but they are. Every year is a reminder that life starts quickly and progresses even more so: from the first crocuses we advance to the daffodils and tulips, all of which end far too soon by the time the irises show up. There is sunshine and growth and noise and activity, and we haven't had a chance to tire of a warm summer evening under the stars before we notice a quick chill in the air, a subtle change in the color of the leaves, and pumpkins in the garden.
All of the seasons -- of the calendar year and of our own lives -- are beautiful in their own way, and as we walk through the days of autumn, let us take time to enjoy, and be thankful for, the beauty that this time of year sets forth.