Fading Year, Fallen Leaves

            Hello, this is Survival Sam.  I’ve been given permission to write posts for this blog from time to time, and I count it a privilege.


            So many media outlets are reviewing the past year or airing “Best Of” shows.  What I have to offer is a different kind of “Best Of” feature.  It’s an essay from one of the students in the Language Arts course I teach at a small college in our area.


            In mid November I assigned the class to write a few paragraphs about something that made autumn unique this year.  A student I’ll call Nancy wrote a piece called ‘Fallen Leaves’ that caught my attention.


            Like so many places around the country this fall, our leaves here took a longer time than usual to change colors.  Those colors were rather dull it seems, with a few exceptions, of course.  There were fewer brilliant reds and oranges though.  Leaves fell later, too.  Is it my imagination, or did they fall during a longer period of time?  The other morning I looked at the tree in our front yard and noticed it was bare.  All the leaves had fallen when I wasn’t looking.  I like that tree best when it’s filled out with lots of green.  Try as I might, there would be no way to put those leaves back.  There’s nothing I can do now but live with it as it is.  It’s a sign of winter, and winter’s soon to be here.  If all goes as it does every year, the leaves will return in the spring.


            While many think of global warming when they see the leaves this fall, I think of something else.  Have you noticed we’re losing freedoms we normally take for granted in this country?  I won’t analyze here why that is, but, like the falling leaves, it’s been happening gradually.  Then one morning you wake up and they’re all gone.  I’d say the tree of freedom is pretty bare already.  Like my tree out front, the freedom leaves can’t be put back.  We’ll just have to live with it.  America’s winter is soon upon us.  Maybe it’s here already.  There may be much to endure before America has a spring, if it indeed has another one.


            Wouldn’t you like to know what dinner conversations were like in Nancy’s home as she matured?  You may think that her viewpoint sounds horribly negative and fatalistic, but she has sensed something many Americans are feeling.  How will we each react?  I suggest it’s time to be pragmatic and decide how to cope with things as they are.  To extend Nancy’s analogy about winter a bit more, squirrels survive by gathering nuts.  You wear a heavy coat when it’s cold outside.  What will you do to prepare yourself and your family for America’s winter?


“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Proverbs 22:3).