My blog informs me that it has been a month since I’ve written…and what a month it has been. A month ago, I started writing a post on autumn and change…and it rings even truer today than it did when I began.
For more than three years, I’ve tried to blog weekly. Earlier this year, it slipped to every other week. Now, I don’t know when I will write..and I think that’s okay. Sometimes I may write weekly…other times, weeks may slip by. Life is changing, teaching me things, and I pray that I will still find the words to share these moments with you…and that you will stick with me and keep reading.
Thank you for 3 1/2 years of joy. Here’s to many, many more.
This is my favorite autumn.
I’ve had twenty-three of them–almost a quarter-century of changing seasons.
I’ve never leaned quite so hard into the crisping air, leaves shaking off the summer green, scents of spice and pine.
This is my favorite autumn and–quite unexpectedly–as the earth tips away from the sun, my seasons are changing with it.
I do not fear the autumnal shift into mist, short days, and frosty-orange mornings.
But I do fear this other litany of changes….
I love adventure, the bracing wind, the shivering thrill of unknown opportunities. But these opportunities seem to come in the form of deep sorrows and strained souls. Change isn’t all adventure and wild expectation. Part of me wants to snuggle deep into the autumn leaves and keep it autumn forever. Perhaps all the change swirling around me has a pause button. All I have to do it press it, and the leaves will freeze half-fallen in the air. My life will suspend in a quiet, eternal moment. Maybe I can just hit pause forever, and then things will never change.
Driving up a steep hill behind a lagging log truck the other day, I watched the leaves crouched on the roadside. As the crawling truck lumbered up the incline, the leaves bounced to their feet and tumbled into the road, dancing and swirling like an impromptu flash mob of giddy children. Since the truck was only going fifteen miles per hour and I had nothing better to do, I watched the waltzing leaves. They were golden in the morning sun, sweeping in carefree circles. They were asking me to dance.
I see the way the autumn falls around me.
It is really carefree, like an exhale. The world lets go of her summer with such delight. She never seems to stop and cry for what she is giving up…I’ve never known the world to weep for a summer lost. I only see the way her face lights up with autumn gold and the way she gladly casts off her confetti leaves like she is welcoming home the frost.
And I stand in frost-air, tuck my hands in my pockets, and wish I could let go of seasons as well as the world does.
I am trying to stare into unknown corridors of life and see where my choices might take me. Time spent here, hours worked there, memories made everywhere…each of these is a deliberate spending of a season, and each of these is a choice I must continue to make, even as things change around me.
Is anything drastically reshaping my life? No…maybe not yet. But little by little I feel the change of the wind. Frost begins to blow in even now, and my blushing leaves are rattling to let go and join the blustery dance.
“To everything there is a season,” Ecclesiastes reminds me.
Leaves drift down, and I want to let go and fly gaily with them.
I once wrote about living with open hands…and this is like that. Autumn is teaching me how to let go and trust that a good season will follow.
If the whole world entrusts herself to her Maker, who am I to doubt the timing of His seasons? Summer will fade into Fall, and Fall will chill the air for Winter. And we all know what comes after the death of Winter…the whole earth bursts into life again.
Each of my seasons, too, paves the way for the next. Will it be a better season? It’s hard to say, I think. Maybe it gets better as it goes along, but a dear friend of mine in her 70s says it best. “Every age is the best age,” she tells me.
I think she is right. This is the best age, the best Fall, the best season I have known.
And the next one will be the best too, because my Jesus leads the way. And I’ve never known Him to fail me.
So, with the leaves, I too let go and join the dance of expectation.
“This means tremendous joy to you, I know, even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold, and gold, as you know, even though it is ultimately perishable, must be purified by fire. This proving of your faith is planned to bring you praise and honour and glory in the day when Jesus Christ reveals himself. And though you have never seen him, yet I know that you love him. At present you trust him without being able to see him, and even now he brings you a joy that words cannot express and which has in it a hint of the glories of Heaven; and all the time you are receiving the result of your faith in him—the salvation of your own souls.”
– Phillips paraphrase from 1 Peter 1:6-9 –