Losing chlorophyll in the autumn of life

    Greetings from the Ridge.
    I think I paid attention a total of three days in fourth grade science. The first time was at the opening of school when the seating assignments were made and I had to be sure I wrangled a seat by my friends. The second time I actually listened was when the teacher announced what day we’d get out for Christmas vacation, and the only other thing I can remember is when Mrs. Waters told us why the leaves turn different colors in the fall. I’d walk home kicking dead leaves out of my path every night so for once this science class held something of interest for me. It blew my little mind to learn that maple and oak leaves were actually these colors all year long but that their photosynthesis-charged chlorophyll caused them to be green all summer. The green was just a cover-up for their natural colors. I remember at the time thinking that this seemed silly of nature to wait so long to put on a show when in fact she had this glorious kaleidoscope tucked away inside each leaf all the time.
    It’s only recently that I’ve discovered that nature seems to pull the same trick with human beings. Herb and I belong to an informal social club that meets once a month to eat and chat at various local restaurants, and over the years I’ve seen the most amazing thing occur. . . we’re losing our chlorophyll and our real colors are beginning to show. When we joined the group some forty years ago our conversation was all about our homes, our lawns, our jobs and a slightly inflated version of how we were doing in life. Then as the years passed our talk centered on children, grandchildren, retirement and vacations. Nowadays when our same group of couples meet we focus on people, prayer and prostates. It’s been interesting to see how the convening years have caused us to focus on what’s important.

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