November 9, 2020
Even though this is our third Fall in Arkansas I have had yet to make the trip north to see the colors in the Boston Mountains. This is the lower tip of the Ozarks and are a topic of every fall’s local newscast. This year I did not have an excuse as my drive to work takes me through the middle of this area. When I came up last Monday, the news said it was just about right. It was not and only a few of the leaves had begun to turn. When I watched the news on Friday it said the changing conditions would likely drop most of the leaves by Saturday night. Perfect. It looks like I will miss the best of the colors again.
“Colors” was a 1988 American police film starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall and directed by Dennis Hopper. The film takes place in the gang ridden neighborhoods of Los Angeles in the late-1980’s. The film centers on an experienced officer (Duvall), and his rookie partner (Penn), who try to stop the gang violence between the Bloods, the Crips, and Hispanic street gangs. Colors inspired discussion over its depiction of gang life and gang violence. As depicted, the only thing seen by the three gangs were the colors they wore. No one was willing to do the work to look beyond the colors to see the person inside.
When we began the drive on Sunday it was overcast and not conducive to seeing the brilliant colors we had been told about. Still, I was expectant. As we began the ten-mile climb toward the crest there were some pretty vistas. Melissa and I both commented on how much more striking it would have been if the sun were shinning on the trees. The contrasts between the deciduous and evergreens was still a beautiful contrast. When we arrived, there was a majestic maple standing tall in the front yard. The sun had broken through and the vibrant colors were awe inspiring. I could only imagine what it would have looked like with the whole mountain draped in the same colors.
Thoughts: When I was coming back down the mountain today the sun had broken through the clouds and was shining brightly. As I expected, the colors were amazing. It reminded me that life can be like fall colors. There are times when all the colors are all there, but we are not seeing them in the right light. There are other times when we fail to do the work to see the colors around us. Occasionally it all comes together. We do the work, the light is right, and we are amazed by the wonder of living. This has been an odd (terrifying?) year. Yet even in 2020, I have seen the amazing “colors” that make up our country and world. Do the work. Change is coming and it starts with you.