The Fall Foliage Tour – 2021

One of our family traditions is to take a Family Fall Foliage Tour. I mention this every year. I drive, Dorothy is in the front seat and, when they were younger, our girls rode in the back. Now we need at least two cars to travel through Tulsa’s Memorial Park Cemetery. The place is quiet. There is never any traffic, and the trees are usually spectacular. The roads are a little tricky in places, but the trip is worth it. In the old days we could feed the ducks, geese, and swans, but since the pond was renovated and the swans moved across town, the signs say we cannot feed the ducks.

This year the trees are suffering—too harsh a winter and too dry a summer. Yet there are many that are recovering beautifully. It is best to go looking at the trees on a sunny day. In the late afternoon, as you wind your way around, suddenly a shaft of light will be shining directly through a tree – maybe it’s a glorious red and orange-leafed maple tree, or something else. It does not matter. It is like a spotlight has been turned on and God is saying, “Look at this!” We all turn and look with awe.

I learned long ago to embrace the beauty of a cemetery and contemplate the friends and strangers it holds dear. We all have a lifetime of friends and loved ones buried in cemeteries. There is much to learn about life by visiting a cemetery as the leaves are turning and floating to the ground. On our visit last Sunday, there was more stopping and walking around in different areas than usual. The youngest grandchildren had questions. We stopped at the grave of entertainer Roy Clark where are daughters quietly sang their Roy Clark Elementary School song. Mr. Clark had visited their school occasionally. At another stop we discovered the grave of a Mr. Gibbons. According to the headstone, Mr. Gibbons was born on February 21, was married on February 21, and died on his 86th birthday on February 21. Take time to visit a meaningful cemetery before the winter winds arrive.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Stand in awe of God’s majesty. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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