One of the best parts of late fall and winter is that the leaves fall off the trees. Yes, you read that right. I like it when the trees around town lose their leaves. I don’t really like tromping through piles of leaf mush, but that’s a minor inconvenience compared to the enjoyment I get from seeing the trees without their leaves.
This is because when the trees lose their leaves, you see a different side of them—they seem stronger, more graceful and wiry. You can see the skeletal beauty of the trees, their knotted branches twisting upward, stretching toward the sky. They have been hardened by the seasons and are prepared to withstand another winter of rain (or snow) and wind. They have a ruggedness that you just don’t see when all of their branches are hidden behind the leaves.
In addition, I like how the disappearance of the leaves opens things up. If you grew up in a part of the world where you could see for miles (as I did), sometimes you might feel trapped in places where the trees block all the views. When the leaves fall off the trees in late fall, the city opens up and you see things that you haven’t seen before or you see them from a different point of view.
This is an important theme—being able to see things from a different point of view. When you are trying to create your own path in life, you have to be able to see things from new and different perspectives. You have to actively look for new ways to solve problems. You have to be willing to look up to see the buildings that weren’t there before.
If you’re walking around outside this winter, stop for a minute just to look around. You might be surprised at what you can see. At the very least, you will be reminded that with the right frame of mind, where some see ugliness, you can see beauty.