I really enjoy the fall season because it includes a return of the students to the college where I work, football and other sports, sweatshirt/sweatpants weather, and, the change of the colors of the leaves on the trees. Summer is an amazing season to be savored for sure, but, like all years past, governed by changing seasons, summer gives way to the fall. Beautiful Little College in the Midlands [not our real name of course, but descriptive], is located only two hours from the sea shore, and, two hours from the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain ranges. Fall weather gets just a bit chilly at night so it is better for sitting in the front of the fireplace, or, sitting on the porch around the fire pit with my beloved wife of many decades. We might even snuggle up close under a blanket and stare up at the star-filled southern night sky. Fall is for cheering on our favorite athletic teams, pumpkin spice coffee creamer, and icing Halloween cookies. I could go on and on but I will just say, fall is the transition from marvelous seasons of amazing color to a winter time of drab grey overcast skies, cold weather, and barren trees, a time of rest and replenishment for the earth. Winter is the promise of another beautiful, color-filled spring season. Fall is the gentle reminder that we should enjoy each and every day that the Lord has made for the time is coming when the earth must sleep under cold and wintry skies. Even creation must rest from its work to replenish, refresh and renew itself. The circle of life is amazing proof of God’s eternal love and His unchanging grace. There is comfort in the certainty and promise of the seasons.
One of my favorite books about life is titled, “The Fall of Freddy the Leaf,” by Leo Buscaglia. It is a magnificent story about the cycle of life, and that all life has purpose and meaning, everyone is part of the greater good, and that the end of our lives is not the end of Life. The story continues and shows that death is never final, and, is never truly the end, but rather, transforms us into a new beginning in ways too wonderful to fully imagine.
As I continue to age, I learn new and wonderful things about life, like failure to succeed at something is nothing more than one attempt to be reviewed, and then tried in a new way, or that, phrases like, “70 is the new 60” really only means that you are only as old as you feel or believe. Fall is my favorite season because I can see the power of renewal in the winter to come, and I can imagine the beauty of spring that follows winter. I can now begin to truly appreciate that I am in the fall of my life, to be savored, treasured and lived fully, rest will come in God’s good time, followed by an eternity of spring filled with color, joy, and the freshness of new birth. For today, it is time for fireplaces, sweatshirts, good company, the love of family and friends, and to keep at the purpose for my life that the Lord has laid before me [given to all of us really] in the words of the Prohet Micah, 6:8, “do justice, love mercy and to walk humbly with God.” Life is not easy, growing older can have its challenges, but it can be wonderful, one day, and one season at a time.
Last week some really great students here at the college came to my office to decorate Halloween cookies. They were very creative and the picture below is just one of the many designs that came from their joy that day. My loving thanks to my beloved wife who spent hours making the cookies and the homemade icing. May the One who Created us all give us grace sufficient for the day.