Many of my friends and family members have been moaning and groaning about the disappearance of the warmth and beauty of summer and the emergence of the colder, darker days of autumn and winter. I confess; I am a winter person. Maybe it’s because I romanticize the cold and the dark. Sitting by the fire, eating by candlelight, and snuggling under a heavy quilt are alluring scenarios. I forget about the nuisance and difficulty of shoveling the driveway, sliding around in the car on icy streets, shivering through layers of heavy clothing, and stuffing screaming toddlers into snowsuits and boots. But in spite of these inconveniences and the bone-chilling temperatures, I remember Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany–my favorite seasons of the year–and I become even more of a fan of autumn and winter. Paradox is what I really love about this time of the year: comfort in the cold, hope in the despair, light in the dark….
So here is a template/coloring page of leaves. You can do whatever you want with it, but I used it to offer up to God both my gratitudes and my gripes about autumn and winter. Some of the things written in the leaves have the infamous status of fitting into both categories.