The Indecency of Autumn

It’s downright indecent. No, it’s obscene, really. The way the trees drop their leaves at this time of year.
Every fall since I moved into this neighborhood, half a dozen trees stand all around my house, baring all for me and anyone driving by to see. It’s counterintuitive, but the colder it gets the faster they seem to shed their raiment. They’re shameless, almost proud in the flaunting of their frames.
Meanwhile the civilized world (namely my wife and I) is forced to deal with the consequences of this lewd, crude, and socially unacceptable behavior. What else can you do when the perpetrators of impropriety proudly promote their promiscuity (work with me here, I was on a roll with the letter “p”!)?
I was raised in a Christian home, after all. I learned to clean up after myself, and on occasion, to clean up after other people. I’ll certainly never stand naked outside anyone’s house, but if I did…at least I’d have the decency to pick up after myself.
Not so with these trees. Here I find myself, year after year, cleaning up after my trees as they stand there in all their shameless glory, dropping their garments one by one without even the pretense of etiquette.
They’ll stand there all winter, outside my windows, peering in at us without a care in the world while we try to go on with our lives as if nothing has changed.
By now I know how this will go. We’ll try to forget about the way they shamelessly stand there, naked and ominous, come sunshine or moonlight, pointing delicately to a sky that is higher than they will ever reach. We’ll try our best to ignore these trees for the duration of the long cold winter. We’ll go about our business as best we can, and at the end of it all we’ll be thankful for Spring when it comes again, when this charade of indecency can come to an end.
It’s not that I mind the trees. It’s more the reminder that underneath all the growth, after the glorious flame of our autumn splendor burns itself out, in spite of all the nesting and nurturing that happen in our branches…underneath it all we stand as stark as the trees. We are just as barren, just as naked.
Like the trees, we tremble with the wind and shamelessly point our shaking frames towards heaven.
Is this not the end of the Christian life or, rather, its beginning?

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4 Responses to The Indecency of Autumn

  1. Just wait until you’re my age. You’ll hire the clean up work.


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