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How Change Reveals Our True Colors

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

Fall is finally in its full swing and the trees and shrubs are putting on their final colorful show. There is a particular stretch of a road that I drive on that is surrounded by an alley of yellow-leaved trees. As you enter this part of the road, the light changes and you find yourself in a tunnel of yellow everywhere you look. It is a quite striking and awe-inspiring!

Recently, I read an article by Maria Popova the founder of Brainpickings, now renamed as The Marginalian, titled Every Loss Reveals What We Are Made Of: Blue Bananas, Why Leaves Change Color, and the Ongoing Mystery of Chlorophyll. In this article, she talks about how the green color of chlorophyll dominates the leaves during the spring and summer as the trees make food from sunlight. As the days shorten and the sunlight fades, chlorophyll starts to break down and all the other underlying pigments that have always been present in the leaves are revealed: xanthophyll gives the leaves the yellow color, carotene reveals the orange, and anthocyanin brings out the red.

How incredible is that? Maybe you knew this already, but I had no idea that the other pigments are always been present in the leaves, we just don’t see them because they were covered up. As change happens with shorter days, less sunlight, and cooler temperatures, it brings out the underlying colors and allows for them to shine through to be admired.

I wonder what colors are revealed in us as we go through change. It probably depends on what kind of change we are facing and how well prepared we are to deal with it.

In general, people will fall into a spectrum of how they deal with change. There are those of us who thrive on change and will be the first ones to embrace it. Then there are those who are okay with change--they will take time to get used to it, but ultimately, they come around. And there are those of us who fear change or are very uncomfortable with it—those are the people that must work a lot harder to process and adjust to new circumstances.


  • Where do you fall on the spectrum of colors of change?

  • What colors lie underneath your dominant color? What is hidden from view? A pleasing yellow or orange or a fiery red or all colors put together?

  • What colors do you want to shine through you in this world of constant change?


Check out or previous blogs on dealing with change here:

Here is The Marginalian article mentioned above:

If you are interested in the science behind the leaf color change, this website explains it very well:

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