Fall is here. I know it actually began a few days ago, but it’s really here now.
I would have to say that it’s my favourite season. The others have their charms—the coziness and stark beauty of winter, the rich unfolding joy of spring, the laziness and relaxation of summer—but fall is my favourite. I like the transformative seasons—fall and spring—more than summer and winter. I like to see the changes—the slow greening of the trees in the spring, the growing colour of those same trees in the fall.
Perhaps it’s also because, unlike my other favourite season, spring, my sense of fall isn’t tied to one day or event or holiday. Spring is always connected to Easter for me, and my birthday, which falls in early April and therefore usually close to Easter. Or, in the case of 2007, is the same day as Easter… But spring means all those traditionally Easterish things—the tulips and hyacinth and lilies, and new green grass and apple blossoms and cherry and pear blossoms, and the dogwoods and azaleas (well, not the latter, not around here—too cold in the winter). Not to mention rabbits and chicks and other birds, and Easter eggs and so on.
My sense of fall is centred more around the richness of harvest—the golds and yellows and browns of apples and pumpkins and corn, of grapes and squash. And the glowing colours of the trees—the red and orange of maples, the blazing yellow of birch, and the amazing changes of the Bradford pear I once had in my front yard, which metamorphosed from green to yellow to gold to red. My memories of fall are of outside things—picking the windfall apples in an orchard at the local cider mill for the youth group to make into cider and sell at church; canoeing on one of Michigan’s many rivers; raking leaves; hiking; camping one last time; making apple butter over a fire at the local nature centre; driving the country and stopping at a farm stand for the shining glossy red and gold apples, the glowing orange pumpkins, the gleaming knobbly squash, and the bunch of Indian corn cobs for the front door; the hayride with the youth group; our annual work camp at the conference camp to put the camp to rest for the winter; the smell of leaves burning in our backyard; and horseback riding in the crisp air with the sun shining like gold.
See? Fall brings out my purple prose!
I’ve even changed my computer desktop to a picture of the woods in the fall. And my screensaver, too.
Perhaps the real question is why fall brings out this feeling in me. Is it because it feels so bountiful—the harvest and the storing up of food and other needs against the coming winter? Or is it the sense of settling in for the winter—close to the storehouse of harvest feeling, but not quite the same. It might just be the beauty of the season. Maybe it’s because, ironically, I always have a sense of new beginnings, of fresh starts and another chance in the fall.
Whatever the reason, I wish each of you the most glorious fall on record, a season of grace, of the harvest of all that is good in your life—love, health, support, friendship, fulfillment, and the knowledge that you are where God intends you to be, doing what God wants you to be doing, answering the divine call. May your storehouses of blessing be full to overflowing!