I looked it up and discovered that it was titled “Come, Little Leaves”, and was composed by George Cooper. I recount it here…
"Come, little leaves," said the wind one day,
"Come o'er the meadows with me and play;
Put on your dresses of red and gold,
For summer is gone and the days grow cold."
Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all;
Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
Singing the glad little songs they knew.
"Cricket, good-by, we've been friends so long,
Little brook, sing us your farewell song;
Say you are sorry to see us go;
Ah, you will miss us, right well we know.
"Dear little lambs in your fleecy fold,
Mother will keep you from harm and cold;
Fondly we watched you in vale and glade,
Say, will you dream of our loving shade?"
Dancing and whirling, the little leaves went,
Winter had called them, and they were content;
Soon, fast asleep in their earthy beds,
The snow laid a coverlid over their heads.
Cooper’s poem beautifully references the unfolding of fall in all of its luster, alluding as well to the inevitable advent of winter.
What prompted my mother-in-law’s recitation was her having just watched my wife and I spend a couple of hours clearing the yard of a week’s worth of fallen leaves. Of course, these days, using a zero-turn riding mower makes that process a whole lot quicker and easier than it used to be back in the day, when all we had was a rake and a ragged out tarpaulin upon which to pile and drag away leaves.
Still, it remains a laborious chore that has to be repeated several times each fall before the tedious process is finally concluded. The entire matter is fraught with dust and sweat and red, irritated eyes and a generous portion of sneezing.
In any event, as she recited these words, I could not help but recall the vivid picture my wife called to my attention recently when she peered out the airplane window as we returned from our recent trip to Florida. In our descent to the airport here in east Tennessee, just outside Knoxville, the view below us was simply stunning.
Everywhere we looked, a magnificent patchwork of yellow, orange, and red trees unfolded beneath us. In the beauty of that moment, the impending hours of getting up leaves out of our yard mattered little. The splendor was too great.
In all of this, I have been reminded that I have a fundamental choice in life. I can focus on the incessant drudgery of recurrent chores or I can focus on the glorious majesty of God in the midst of His creation!
In the Old Testament book of Exodus (chapter 3, verses 1-3), we read:
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”
Moses was busy with the mundane duties that fill one’s life. Yet he was sensitive enough to recognize whenever the supernatural was being manifested within the natural. Likewise, I have asked the Lord to help me be more and more sensitive to His power and presence in the world all around me.
In the words of the hymn writer of old, “Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see!”
For most assuredly, few things can be considered as sad as spending one’s life getting up fallen leaves and never once seeing the glory of God on display all around in the vibrant foliage of fall!
The Bible makes plain that all one has to do is to look at the splendor of creation in order to see the majesty of the Lord.
LASTLY, CHECK OUT THIS AWESOME FALL FOLIAGE MAP: