The sun bursts over the horizon with bright rays of life sustaining light, illuminates a myriad of yellow, orange, and red leaves. The forest floor, carpeted with early fallen leaves, glows as colorful light reflects back into the trees above – the encore performance of autumn foliage.

Two seasons of green give way to a kaleidoscope of color that ironically comes at the end of a leaf’s life. The forest’s siren call, screaming, “Look and appreciate what we have done in the cycle of life–” the prelude to winter and rebirth.

The boys and I look after a sweet widow lady we attend church with as best as we can. Her husband, who passed away last year, was a wonderful man, but that is another story all together. We spent the day raking leaves in her yard. I hope they will learn the importance of service.

I took the leaf-blower and went to work on a far bank while Logan picked up dead limbs and Austin hauled off an old woodpile that had rotted beside her house and was no longer of use.  After a couple of hours of work I looked over at the boys, sweaty and red cheeked, and was proud of them.

I was reminded of a story Henry Eyring told of his father.  Henry Eyring, Sr. was quite elderly and had bone cancer. He was tormented by terrible pain, but Brother Eyring never complained. He accepted a call to serve on the church’s welfare farm. The farm was in need of weeding so he called all the men in the church and organized a day of service to pull weeds.

The men reported as asked and were given assignments. Brother Eyring also began weeding a row, but walking and stooping over hurt too much so he lay on his belly and crawled down the row.  He slowly made his way to the end and then back, certainly in some degree of pain. After hours of work the men gathered back at the trucks. As Brother Eyring crawled back to the end of his rows the caretaker of the farm said, “Oh no, Brother Eyring. You didn’t weed those rows did you?  Those rows have been sprayed and the weeds will die. There was no need to weed them.”

Brother Eyring had a good laugh at himself, but his son Hal felt horrible. When they were in private Hal asked, “Dad, how could you laugh?  You are in terrible pain. You crawled on your belly all day toiling in the dirt for no reason at all.”

His father smiled and said, “Oh Hal.  Don’t you see?  It never was about the weeds.”

What a wonderful example. I hope my boys learned something today. I asked them if they felt good helping this sweet lady with work she could not do for herself.  They both said yes and Logan added, “It was fun!”

I am thankful for leaves.