Autumn’s golden leaves inspire timely blessing

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, September 22, 2016

Summer bows to autumn, as a tiara of golden aspens crowns a field once glorious in golden canola along Highway 1A east of Cochrane.
Photos by Warren Harbeck

What a breathtaking coronation of autumn we thrilled to in our part of the Bow Valley this past weekend, eh? In every direction, glorious golden hues dominated the landscape.

For instance, last Thursday afternoon I happened to be driving to Calgary along Highway 1A. While passing the field immediately west of the RockPointe Church, I noticed its exciting new look. The field of golden canola I’d written about in my July 28 column was now sporting a regal tiara of golden aspens.

The canola, once so radiant, was gone, harvested. I’d taken photos of that field back then in the bright midday sun, as in the accompanying lower image.

But now, in its place, the field was attired in its stunning new autumn regalia, complete with golden tiara. I just knew I had to come back with my big Nikon camera before the weekend was over to capture its particular beauty in early morning light.

I pulled into the church’s parking lot around 8:30 A.M. Sunday, just as a few early birds were arriving for services. Positioning myself along the field at the same point from which I’d taken the July photos, I zoomed in on a stand of golden aspens and bushes aglow in the full, low-angle sunlight.

It’s sure a good thing I got those photos when I did, because when I returned later that afternoon, a strong wind had taken its toll on the scene, leaving more barren branches than festive foliage. Carpe imago!

This experience suggests a special blessing for the RockPointe congregation, privileged witnesses to the field of transitory golden glory at their doorstep, a reminder that all of us blossom, flourish, wither and perish like leaves on a tree. In the words of Walter Chalmers Smith’s classic hymn, may you continue to rise in melodious praise to the “immortal, invisible, God only wise.”


© 2016 Warren Harbeck

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