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by John Watson

We have just passed the shortest day of the year and now the days are getting longer. I have always heard this time of year referred to as the ‘dead of winter.’ It seems that most plant life is dead this time of year. However, come march, as spring approaches, everything will come back to life.

To me each year represents the full cycle of life. Spring represents our youth, as the tender young plants must set a good root system to be able to grow into maturity; we, in our youth need to set our roots in a well balanced education that we may grow into well rounded adults.

Summer represents our adulthood. Just as the plants must adjust to their surroundings, heat, drought etc in order to survive, we must also face many challenges in our own daily lives, which by overcoming helps to build our character.

Autumn represents our golden years of life. The grain is ready for harvest as it has achieved the purpose for which it was planted, to provide nourishment for man. We have put in our life of toil and are ready to turn the reins over to a younger generation and offer our expertise in training our youth to meet the trials of life.

Winter represents death. Death is something that we all must face. The bible teaches that it is appointed to man once to die and after that the resurrection. Each spring we see a resurrection of life in nature as a reminder of the promise made to man.

Why The Leaves Turn.

An Indian legend holds that celestial hunters turn the leaves yellow by cooking meat over an open fire and splattering fat all over the trees.

Western science offers a less (ahem) colorful explanation: the leaves simply stop producing chlorophyll, the chemical that makes them look green (and that nourishes the tree). Yellow pigment that has been overshadowed all summer by the chlorophyll now emerges from hiding and becomes dominant. In other words, the leaves’ warm-weather makeup wears off to reveal the natural surface underneath; yellow is the leaves’ true color.

Try using that explanation next time someone remarks on your graying hair.

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