Througout my travels this week, I couldn’t help but notice the majestic splendor and beauty of the changing color of leaves. One particular valley was densely populated with leaves rich with red and gold foliage. Just as noticeable was the frenetic activity of the flocks of birds getting ready for winter as well as the bees surrounding a fragrant pine. As I was waiting in the beauty parlor for my own “color” to set, I noticed a small, frail, elderly woman in a wheelchair across the way. She studied me with clear eyes and intent. She smiled a wide toothless grin and with one crooked, bony finger wagged me over to her station. She asked if I knew her, which I did not. She then reminded me I had taken care of her sister before she passed away, but the final year in the nursing home had been a bright one for them as they shared memories, thoughts and love. Life often hands us a cruel trick when we find out we have cancer, or suffer through some personal crisis. The initial shock is numbing, but as we strive to overcome and deal with the problem, we often “bloom”. Similar to the fall leaves. The usual camouflage of our life or color falls away and we are left to appreciate the beauty and significance of the essence which lies underneath. We note the most important things, perhaps our family or friends, were there all along but just not acknowledged in the haste of our busy lives and schedules. The treat is being able to appreciate the “bloom” and beauty now, in yourselves as well as others. We all too often take the elderly or the dying for granted. Yet their wisdom, their experience, if appreciated, adds depth of personal character to our lives that some people are never able to experience. We all too often take each other as well as our material possessions for granted. We are currently rich in personal splendor. The trick is to let our colors change before it’s too late and the treat is to simply appreciate all the rich, majestic beauty that’s in your life at this moment.