I love this time of year.

There's a nip in the air but the harsh winter has yet to set in, which makes walking outdoors ever so refreshing. But what I really love most about this season is the glorious colors everywhere.

Taking a walk hand-in-hand with my youngest daughter, she giggles happily as she jumps on the piles of fallen leaves. We count the trees that have become bare and note those that still carry foliage, tenaciously gripping onto their last few days, or weeks, of life.

But mostly, we exult in the many changing colors. Her favorites are the brighter shades of cherry pink and blood red, while I prefer the richer, deeper mahoganies, auburns and burgundies.

Along the way we observe how entire trees, previously a light shade of forest green have transformed into fiery mixes of orange, rust and dark browns, while others have just as magically become golden and mustard yellow.

In the springtime, we often follow this same path.

Then, too, we observe the colors all around us, in the newly blooming flowers breaking free from their restricting buds. Even now, we still spot a few lingering remnants of petals in vivid pinks and magentas, canary yellows and lipstick reds.

As the spring flowers rupture the embryonic sac of the dark, frozen winter earth, they color our world with their brilliant, primary colors. They remind me of bright-eyed children, full of verve, enveloped in a joie de vivre. They have yet to be disillusioned by any of life's disappointment and they face their days with daring, colorful enthusiasm, and flamboyant joy for the wonders of their world.

But it is the aging leaves in the fall, clinging to life with their last breathe, that truly mesmerize me.

These leaves remind me of a mature individual, made wise by his life experiences rather than his inborn childlike naiveté. He has lived through both the goodness and the darkness of life, yet, he perceives our world in glorious multicolor. His experiences have brought about a transformation where he no longer fits into one dimension of color but has emerged a richer individual, carrying an array of hues and shades, ideas and perspectives, empathy and perceptiveness.

Though the fall colors are more sedated and far less glitzy than the bold and youthful primary colors of spring, to me, they characterize a paradigm of depth and dignity. They symbolize a fuller perspective of right and wrong, a more tolerant view of people and their chosen paths, and broader insight into our world – and our relationship with our Creator.

What is your favorite season? What message does it say to you?