The Dynamics of Change

I’ve noticed this fall that the trees of a forest change colors from the outside, inward.

A month ago, there was still a lot of green mixed with bright yellow, dull yellow, and bright orange, with just a few accents of red and purple here and there.

About two weeks ago, the greens became a minority, with a lot of yellows and a few more oranges and reds — and the whole forest started to get involved in the show.

Last week, the outer edges of the forest started to look a little bare. The inner elements of the forest, however, were in full effect. The overall color tone shifted, too. Far more orange and amber hues, with some dull yellows, warm browns, and even some crimson oaks.

Last weekend, however, some high winds ripped through the Northeast Ohio, along with heavy rains and even our first snow cover of the season.

So today, the tree canopy seems to be mostly bare, with some pockets of orange, brown, and yellow.

I’m not necessarily mourning these changes — just noticing them. As a matter of fact, we’re on tap for a beautiful weekend in northeast Ohio, with warm sunshine and calm conditions. So I’m not feeling particularly inclined towards melancholy about the seasonal transition. Still, I can see that we’re in a clear shift from fall to winter. For better and for worse.

It seems to me that our country might be changing in ways that are similar to the forests of Northeast Ohio. Gradually, from the outside, inwards. Joe Biden is on the cusp of victory (legal challenges from Donald Trump still to come). But even once everything is settled, it’s not going to be a sweeping, sudden change. Our country is changing at different rates. I personally believe Biden is the better candidate: wiser, calmer, more rational, more prepared to consider others, more likely to follow time-tested patterns and protocol for governance… And I’m praying that we can experience a smooth transition of power.

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