It’s starting to feel, look, and smell like fall. The air is getting that edge of unexplainable crispness, leaves are starting to change colour, and some are even falling prey to gravity, paving the way for the official sound of autumn - the crunch of leaves underfoot. And it’s again becoming normal and acceptable to layer clothing, wear boots, and drink copious amounts of hot tea.
Fall has always been my favourite (winter is an extremely close second!), but this year my heart is thankful for this season in a new way. Maybe it’s because last year, all of the beauty and glory of fall was condensed into two weeks before I flew to Kona. Or because this is my first fall in my new home and the season feels incredibly spot-on for the stage of life and growth I’m living.
I’m continually blown away that the process of changing colours is actually a process of death, because it’s so staggeringly beautiful. It’s change and growth marked by indescribable beauty - nature’s way of pruning and purifying, leading into a season of rest and stillness and peace. It’s as if Abba is giving us (or me at least) a daily reminder that the process of maturing, the process of dying to ourselves, is a process lined with continual evidences of grace and beauty if we just open our eyes to see it.
I often think that God has orchestrated the seasons as a way to slow us down, to give us more manageable and distinct sections of the year that help alleviate the tendency to settle into mundane routine. Seasons force us to move past our hectic schedules and just breathe deeply of the unique beauty that saturates each season - to taste the fresh autumn air, to savour the smells of cinnamon and ginger, and to soak up the crispness of early morning autumn runs - and the slow transition into needing to wear leggings, gloves, and toques again.
No matter where I am or what I’m doing or what stresses loom in my mind, trees turning deep hues of colour and soon entirely ablaze with the colours of autumn, mountain ranges with the first fresh snow fall of the year, and the crunch of autumn leaves never cease to take my breathe away. The season whispers of stillness and warmth, of comfort and newness and adventure - every leaf crunching underneath as invitation from Abba into new intimate depths of His heart.
I love summer too. Summer is so carefree - so filled with spontaneity and excitement. It holds so much promise of tanned skin, outdoor concerts, camping trips, and adventures at the lake. It’s a big party where everyone is invited, laughter abounds, and the nights late. The soundtrack is up-tempo mixes of sunshine-on-my-shoulders country music blaring with the windows down; the menu fresh and simple - highlighted by salads, berries, smoothies, and anything off the grill; the dress code casual and relaxed - flip-flops, board shorts, and sundresses. In so many ways, summer seems so youthful and so idealistic - it’s the off-season, a haven of recreation, romance, adventure, and fun.
Fall seems more intimate, more personal somehow. More subtle in its beauty and adventure, more laced with responsibility and rhythm and a return to more consistent schedules. The soundtrack is acoustic singer/songwriter melodies, a more mellow and introspective, but no less optimistic, vibe than the up-tempo tune of summer; the menu filled with deep, earthy spices, hot soup, London Fog and chai lattes, apple crisp and pumpkin muffins; and the dress code layers, boots, cardigans, and scarves.
Fall is a new hockey season (hopefully!), soccer, cross-country, and volleyball season, and a new school year - the very essence of the season lending itself to the transition to reading books, studying in coffee shops, and diving into a new semester of school.
both so lined with beauty. so unique and perfect in their time.
goodbye summer. hello fall.