Yesterday we stopped again and I took more photos. This time we were the only car interested.
The first time I took photos the trees were showing off a glamorous, last hurrah display of this past summer's growth.
This time all that was left were the "bare bones" of the forest.
...had dried and faded.
The umbrella of color....
....had blown free, leaving the branches stripped and stark against endless skies.
Despite being the only people interested in the leafless trees, I felt they were just as beautiful in their winter simplicity as they were when flamboyantly draped in their foliage. It was just another season, another stage, a time of waiting, pulling in, resting, so they are ready for their spring rebirth.
As we drove on over the mountains, I thought of how the trees reminded me of my Halloween costume this year, of La Catrina as I've just discovered she is named.
Like the trees, like La Catrina, we may dress ourselves up in colorful haberdashery, but we are all, really, just the bare bones hidden underneath. The well dressed lady is known for her traditional Day of the Dead symbolism, both honoring our love for those who have departed life and the reminder to embrace life while we still have time to celebrate it.
But like the trees she can also symbolize all those little deaths that we experience because of the inevitable ups and downs and detours within our lives known as CHANGE. Whether planned or unexpected, change in our life creates a need to remember our basics, the bare bones of who we are, and more often than not, the need to discard the leaves, the finery we've built up over time.
Now that the harvests of the last year are complete (at least in this half of the world) and nature is settling in for a winter's repose, it's a good time for us to follow in her footsteps. We can toss off the outgrown ephemera of our lives. This might mean letting go of old ways of thinking, old ideas or limits, excess belongings or expectations, or any number of emotional, psychological, or physical baggage that weigh us down and prevents us from moving into the new growth that awaits our readiness just round the bend. It's a good time to cuddle our bony fingers around a hot cup of hot tea, bundle our bones inside a favorite old quilt, and spend some winter time reflecting on what new sort of wardrobe will fit our lives in the coming spring of the year.