At this time of year, in this part of the world, the green mountains of summer transform into a beautiful blanket of fall colors, as varied and brilliant as the popular patchwork quilts about which the Appalachian natives boast. As my six year old daughter and I wound our way through a narrow road to the store, my daughter glanced up at God’s lovely handiwork and sighed.
“Mom, I like the red trees the best.”
“Me too,” I replied. “Why do you like the red ones the best.”
“Because they are so different than all the others. They are so different that they are the first ones I see.”
Her words brought to mind all the children I serve who are on the Autism Spectrum. Many of them are fun, brilliant, witty, compassionate….and invariably, unique. Sometimes, in a crowd of many kids, they are the ‘first ones people see’. Why? Because, in many ways, they are different – but different isn’t bad, it’s just different.
In the movie Robin Hood, staring Kevin Costner, some children come up to Robin’s Moorish friend and ask him, “Why did God paint you?” The Moor, Khazeme (sp?) replies, “Because God loves variety.” Yes, God does love variety. He painted lots of different colors to the Earth, covered the land with thousands of types of creatures, shaded human skin with millions of hues, and even detailed the billions of different ways to process thought.
Some people’s differences may be as evident…and beautiful as a red autumn tree on a green mountainside, but for me and my daughter, they can be the ones we like the best 🙂