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I have this amazing maple tree in my front yard.  While there are others in the neighborhood, my maple tree is healthier and larger then all the rest.  I’ve come to resent this.

Why? Because in the fall this maple tree produces 8 million, no make that 10 million, leaves that work together to smother and kill my lawn.  While the weather is still nice in September I keep an eye on this tree.  The leaves at the ever expanding crown are the first to change to a slightly yellow tint followed by pink.  By the time they are red my focus is on the soon to be piles mountains of leaves that will result. This usually starts after a good rain storm which makes up raking all the more tedious.

My wife loves to take pictures of this and other maple trees in the neighborhood.  She shows me them with great pride and I politely smile and tell her how nice they are.  But inside I’m resenting the mess that is sure to follow.  About this time I start fervently praying for a good windstorm since my neighbors down the street also have rakes. When it comes to leaves I’m all for spreading the wealth around.

But as of this morning, I have to admit that I’ve had an attitude adjustment.  I recently started working out in the morning. It normally is dark when I arrive at our exercise room for my morning workout. My nemesis, the maple tree, lives right outside the window of this room but it is usually not visible.  However this morning, being the weekend, it was different.  I got up later and as I walked into the exercise room I was greeted by the most incredible display of color. It took me aback. From this room the piles of leaves smothering the lawn are not visible. Only the intense shades of red.  As i started my workout I tried to ignore this but it wasn’t working.

I finally had to admit that the tree was truly beautiful.  A work of art that only nature creates.

There is an old saying; You can’t see the forest, for the trees.  In my case I realized that I couldn’t see the tree for the lawn below.  In playing the part of the Grumpasaurus I had been missing the incredible show up above.  Instead of focusing on the beauty of the maple tree, I’d been focused on percentage of remaining leaves.

It’s like that some times. It’s easy to overlook the blessings in our lives and in doing so we can fail to appreciate the maple trees all around us.