Maples in My Midst

<%image(20051021-Leaf Upclose small.jpg|162|216|Maple Leaf)%> Whether lining a road with majestic yellow leaves shining bright, dotting a mountainside with flecks of yellow and red, or standing alone in the yard, providing a flare of color in a sea or green and brown, I simply cannot get enough of the maple trees this fall.

Even though this fall has been one of the worst for fall colors in Vermont, I have still found some real gems to photograph and obsess over. I think the sheer quantity of colorful maple trees this fall has me incredibly excited; they are truly a joy to be around. In fact, while treking through my yard yesterday to take this picture, I had a profound sense that I was engaged in a form of worship.

<%image(20051021-Leaves and branches.jpg|216|162|Leaves )%> Not of trees, but of the God who created the trees. I frankly have found it hard to look up at the stars or at a view and honestly think to myself, “Isn’t it amazing that God made all of this.” In addition, I can barely relate to artists who feel that their art work is worship. I even think of Eric Liddell who felt God’s pleasure as he ran races. But taking pictures of Maple trees and the leaves this fall has brought me up close to creation and to the creator. Taking pleasure and joy at the works of his hands has brought a new intimacy that I have previously never experienced.

And even as I mourn over the loss of the colorful leaves and prepare for the barren winter, there is the shining hope of tapping the maple trees in March for some Maple sap that I will clumsily convert into Maple syrup.