Sunday, October 5, 2008

Seasons of Change

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For the past few years, I have been wanting to drive up American Fork Canyon when the leaves were changing to see the beautiful autumn colors in the canyon. Well, for the past few years, it seems like we were always just a little too early or a little too late when we finally got around to going so we didn't go. Well, this year, I didn't want it to pass by without taking Aaron Jr. and Ode up the canyon to hike around a bit and get some photos of the beauty up there. So, after many attempts to go, we finally went this week. It was GORGEOUS. Here are just a few of our photos from that day:








Our first hike was in a place where Aaron and I had gone before back in 2004 when we went up to see the autumn colors. It was still beautiful.


The other place we stopped to hike around ended up being a place that is very well taken care of. I hadn't ever been there before. It is called Cascade Springs.










My sweet little boy.


Isn't this so beautiful?

Aaron Jr., Ode, and I had a blast on our drive up the canyon. It took several hours and we didn't get home until dark. It was so much fun though. When we got out to hike around, Aaron Jr. and Ode were so full of energy. Ode would run up ahead until we couldn't see him, then he would run back until he could see us again, stand there for a minute to wait for us, then run up ahead and do it all over again. Aaron Jr. tripped over a few tree roots and fell flat. It didn't seem to phase him, he would just get back up, want me to brush him off, then he would be on his way again. I kept telling him to be careful. So, after we turned around to head back to the car, Aaron Jr. wanted to hold my hand the whole way and he kept telling ME to be careful the whole way back. It was so sweet. We missed having Aaron with us this time.


2004
Now, here are a few photos from the Fall of 2004 when Aaron, Ode, and I went for a Sunday drive up American Fork Canyon.


Aaron and Ode


Leslie and Aaron

These were taken in 2004 the very next day. My sister, Lisa, and her family came down for Family Home Evening. We drove up this canyon again to have a barbeque. It was getting dark, so that is why these photos are a little blurry. It was very fun.


John, Lisa, Caroline, Hannah and Elise (not necessarily in that order :)


Aaron, Leslie, Ode

Ever since driving up the canyon, I have been thinking a lot about this season and what it means in nature. As I pondered on the autumn season in general, I realized that in nature, Heavenly Father uses a change in weather to be 'off with the old', then 'on with the new'.

I think Heavenly Father does this in our lives as well. There are things in our lives that need to be changed, whether we realize it, or else just Heavenly Father knows it... certain things have to be let go. Mistakes we make, negative feelings we have built up inside of ourselves weighing us down, getting too 'comfortable' in life, or just realizing that we might be headed in the wrong direction; there is a time to just let these things go... time to figure out where we want to be and where we need to be going; then is the time to start again... fresh. Autumn, Winter, and Spring are the seasons that represent each of those steps in a changing process. Then, once we start fresh again, Summer represents the time when we are growing and thriving in the changes we have made, the things we have let go, things that were weighing us down.

In this thought process, it doesn't mean that I am ready to let go of my life with Aaron. That will never happen. Aaron will always be a part of my life and Aaron Jr's life. But what am I supposed to be doing to get me to where I NEED to be? I know there is more for me here in this life. I know there is still happiness to be had. I know there are still experiences to share. What do I need to be learning to get me ready for what is in store for me in the future here in this life?

It is still so difficult to picture my life or my future without Aaron by my side. It is still heartbreaking even thinking about that, and so very lonely imagining my life without Aaron, but I am trying to accept that it is my life now. TRYING being the key word.

I miss you SO much, Aaron. I love you and I hope you are with us everyday...

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31 comments:

Mindy said...

GORGEOUS pictures!! I love fall!

Anonymous said...

Did I mention how proud I am of you. You had choices to make and I think you are choosing to be full. (Full: of hope, joy, the spirit, forgiveness, triumph!!

You raidiate light, and that light shines on Arron Jr. You are my hero. We love you.

Autumn

dani said...

our purpose evades us all at times, leslie... i think even more for those of us who build our lives around our families. i know we continue to have one (a purpose), but it is always changing; you are right... much like the seasons.
i'm delighted you had such a good trip to the canyon with aaron jr and ode and that you found the beauty of the earth abounding...
love,
dani

Tawnie said...

Every single one of those pictures is beautiful. Especially when you are in them!! :) Good thoughts Les. I love you!!!

Seesalou said...

wow. those are some amazing pictures. breathtaking actually. i'm glad you did that. it was fun to reflect on our trip up the canyon that time with you guys. wish we had more of those to reflect on!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics Leslie!

Love to you and little Aaron,

Jane

The Michiganders said...

Beautiful pictures--even more beautiful post. I really needed to read this tonight.

Valeri said...

Those are gorgeous photos! Wow! Aaron Jr. is such a cute boy. I'm glad you guys had such a great day together enjoying nature. Fall is the absolute best!

kristen said...

Wow what stunning photos. They are beauty full.
So glad you made some lovley new memories.

amanda said...

I love Cascade Springs.
I know Aaron is with you as much as he can be. He hasn't lost his love and concern for you even though he has passed beyond this life. You are still very much a part of him as you were when he was here. But I'm sure he wants you to find joy in this life too:) Chin up!!

Kristi said...

I love all of the pictures. I love the ones with Aaron on the ground with leaves all around him. I LOVE the short hair. I love having you guys here. Do you think anyone would mind if you moved here?

Anonymous said...

Leslie,

You don't know me, but I wanted to let you know what an impact you have had on my life. I am amazed at your strength and love! You have created such a beautiful legacy for your husband and your little boy. Your writing is amazing - you truly need to put these thoughts into books! I am grateful that I have been able to read your words and feel of your strength! May God bless you and your little family!

Joann said...

Amazing pictures, Leslie andsuch beautiful words. We, too are going through changes this time of year and they will only make us stronger. I hope you are well. We were missing Aaron a lot this past Saturday, remembering that last year on Conference Saturday, all three of you were here watching it with us. We all love you!

Tabitha said...

Leslie, those are gorgeous photos of you and your sweet boy ~ the ones of you both lying in the leaves are my favourites!
I am sure that Aaron was right there with you on that trip ~ walking right next to you!
love and hugs to you both XXXXX

Jyl said...

What Great Pictures Leslie! I love the fall! I think you are right where you need to be right now. And If life changes for you, the place you are supposed to be will find you. Love you.

Anonymous said...

Leslie, You are touching more lives than you realize. Thank you for sharing your family with us.

God Bless.

Nat said...

Such lovely pics you took! Love your blog and all the photos of Aaron!

JuLene said...

Thanks for those beautiful pictures! I miss fall in Utah so much. Seasons are different here in Oklahoma. I miss those cool crisp fall mornings, and many different colors.

The Heiners said...

Well, Les, you managed to make me cry before I even read your entry. The first thing I do on people's blogs that have songs is PAUSE the thing. I'm not big at listening to people's picks, but today, I read every word of Rob Thomas' song and actually listened to the whole song. He is my favorite artist and there are times when his words (and voice) bring me to tears. I did scan through your pictures of American Fork Canyon, which were amazing. I was too darn emotional already to read the entry. I will though. I always learn so much from you. Thank you for touching my life again, even if it was just through having a similar song mean so much to both of us.

BeckyinQC said...

You are seriously so talented with the camera. Those photos are beautiful!! I don't know if you've ever seen an "Arizona Highways" calendar. My mom bought one every year to schedule her appointments on and even though these pictures are not of Arizona, I felt like I was looking at the photos in an Arizona Highways calendar. If you can't tell, I have a soft spot for the mountains and everything that comes with it -especially fall. I'm going to the Arizona mountains next week with my kids to view the Arizona White Mountains foilage and I will take my camera, but I doubt they will be anything in comarison to yours.

Your thoughts on seasons and change hit it right on the head. There have been lots of change in my life over this past month that I have struggled to accept and I appreciated your post about this. Our prophet also spoke about change during conference this past weekend. I needed to hear these thoughts and inspiration from both of you. Thank you!

Lots of love,

~ Becky ~

Yvonne S. said...

Hey Leslie!! Yes, I do have a blog and I check yours all the time!! I am just horrible at leaving comments, but I am getting better!! Aaron Jr. is too dang cute! I hope you are doing well and life is going good for you. I read your blogs all the time and I think that you are so amazing! What strength you have and it really encourages me to be strong! I remember living in the apartment with you I always looked up to you and your strength in the church. Hang in there Leslie!!! Love, Yvonne

K and K and kids said...

BEAUTIFUL pictures. I sure miss the changing seasons...we don't get a lot of that here in the desert. Lovely words. Love ya, Les.

kristen said...

Hi Leslie,
I too read and follow your blog. I sometimes go to leave a comment and just never know what to say.
You are inspirational and one day you will have a son who will know all this too.
Take care of you
Kristen.

Claire said...

Leslie.. i've said before that you have such a beautiful way of putting things. Your comments on the changing seasons was a beautiful thought.
Someone left a comment saying that you're blessing more lives than you realise. I agree. You're touching mine. You're an inspiration to me.

Jason said...

Cascade Springs is a fun place to see. Something about it is very relaxing. I always seem to miss most of the fall leaves too. It just doesn't last long enough. You took some great pictures.

Funky Farmers said...

Les- You take such amazing pictures. Thanks so much for sharing. Fall is my favorite. Aaron Jr. is so cute. We have missed you at the market. You were such a big help. Thanks Again.

Anonymous said...

Hi leslie,

Just checking in on you from afar.

Thinking of you and sending you hugs.

Love

Jane

Jared Idiart said...

Leslie:

Christine and I stayed up the other night reading your blog and I feel like I know Aaron and you now after the many tears that we shed. My wife loves you a lot, we wish you would come visit Spencer and Kristi more so we can get to know you even better. As you know we love all the Higginsons and we've made it our top priority to recruit as many of you to Medford as are willing to listen. Your son is beautiful and I know your husband is proud of you for raising him in his honor.

Rhitzclan said...

Hey Ell,

Those pictures are so beautiful! I love all of the colors... Autumn is my favorite season and I would have loved to go hiking with you that day! There is something about being in nature and appreciating God's creations that bring rejuvenation and renewal to the soul. I'm sure Aaron walked with you two that day. You are so loved by all whose lives you touch. I love you my friend.

Cee

Karey said...

What beautiful pictures. We drove around Alpine Loop the weekend before and it wasn't quite so colorful--but still beautiful. Thanks for the nice thoughts, too. I feel a seasonal change for us right now. Love you all.

Anonymous said...

I was blog surfing and came upon your blog and I am sitting here with a heavy heart as I know exactly of the trials you're going through...I am widow as well with 7children(1girl and 6boys)...we have our moments and there are those days when I would just drive to the temple parking lot and just sob for hours until I get this feeling of warmth that my husband was there comforting me and telling me that 'all will be well'...time doesn't heal...it just changes only it does get a little lighter especially when you know of the great Plan of Salvation that our Heavenly Father planned for us! It's been 3 1/2 years for me and it still feels like yesterday and I still have his clothes hanging in the closet...He was my best friend and the greatest father to our children. It's been a very overwhelming 3 years but we are surviving clinging to the gospel and sincere prayer for comfort. Keep your husband's memory alive so that his son can know what a wonderful father he had...we can't foretell the future but knowing that He is there, take comfort in that.....I know my husband is with us all the time...my 3rd son was just babtized in September and my dad baptized him but my son wanted a friend of the family, we call hime grandpa Harris, to give the confirmation...there were 3 boys getting baptized and so there were alot of people...at the end of the program, a woman held by her husband came up to me and said that during my son's confirmation, she heard 2 voices giving the confirmation and she couldn't figure out why 2 people would do that, as I stood looking at her with confusion, her husband took her hand and they both took my hand and said that she was blind...she went on to say that as the confirmation was given, grandpa harris mentioned that my son's dad had passed on, than she realized who the other voice was....I hugged this lady for the longest time just sobbing because of how thin the veil was on this very special day...I wish luck and stay true to the faith.....