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There are two ways to look at autumn. It can be viewed as an austere reminder of the impending and seemingly never ending Minnesota winter. It can also be viewed as a shimmering kaleidoscope, a spirited conversation, if you will, on what it took to get there. Untethered by the summer wind and rain that ripped less resilient trees from their foundation exposing their roots, it’s a boisterous clamoring that wistfully recalls April budding, cool morning dew and the scorching August sun.  It’s a brilliant recollection that we are privy to, if we are willing to listen.  It’s a life time of experience… a colorful testimony of survival. It’s spectacular show that intensifies with each passing day.

Nature speaks to us, with a breathtaking and passionate visual plea to pay attention. After enduring severe and sometimes unpredictable elements, the landscape announces with pride that it is emboldened by the experience and stands ready for the next challenge. It says to us, I survived it all and it’s my time to shine.

In the same way, baby boomers have spent a lifetime gleaning experience, overcoming obstacles and solving a complex palette of the world’s problems.  In today’s instantaneous cycle of glitz and news, much of which proves not to stand the test of time, it’s easy to overlook our contributions, talents, skills, and intelligence.  I get it, it’s easy to do.  But the next time that the word passé comes to mind when you think of baby boomers, I urge you to think again and to then ask yourself the following.

Is it the green that causes us to leave our homes in droves in search of October’s beauty? Or is it the rich diversity of show stealing iridescence that is complimented by the green that drives us into the woods, through the tree lined neighborhoods, or up and down the freeway? Is it a coincidence that this beauty takes place ¾ of the way through the year? I don’t think so. Autumn’s brilliant colors didn’t come over night. They came by weathering the storms.  My message to you is simple: Don’t miss the brilliance.

Valerie Rose Redmond

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