When you live in the mountains, pictures like the one above do not do the fall justice. This is a quick snap on my iPad of the trees in our front yard. It is hard not to love life when you wake up to this.
I am a summer girl through and through. My favorite place in the world is the beach, salt on my skin and a book in my hand. I use the time to travel, to stay out late, and just to frolic and be free. Despite the fact that it is my favorite season, I do have a particular fondness for fall as well. I love the sound of crunchy leaves under my feet on a Sunday afternoon hike. I love sipping hot cocoa on the couch while I cuddle with my husband and our puppy. I love screaming until I am hoarse at football games, carving pumpkins, and layering my clothes in my often unsuccessful attempts to be a fashionista. Don’t even get me started on pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween! True story, I would be happy as a mouse in a wool sock if the year were split into two thirds summer and one third fall. Well, maybe one week of winter for the holidays. Give me a white Christmas, but give me no more!
I am not the only person who fancies this time of year. In Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery writes, “I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” In The Great Gatsby— one of my favorite American novels— Fitzgerald contends that “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” Just like people rave on Facebook and Pinterest, October really is my favorite color. Seriously… I even got a manicure to coincide with the new season, and it was $30 well spent. Despite the hay fever that has plagued me since the leaves began to change, I have felt renewed and revived a lot recently because of the season. I have left my living room curtains open because I love the wonderful view out of our bay window. Lately, I have also taken time to be really reflective and intentional about my life. So, during my daily musings (which usually happen when I am showering or brushing my teeth… God rewards hygiene), I have taken the time to think about why I love fall so much.
Fall is one of our natural reminders of a God that replenishes us and makes our suffering beautiful. The leaves are only vibrant on the trees for a short period of time before they turn sallow and fall. While the fall leads into winter, which some people find the bleakest time of the year, I doubt seriously that many people would relinquish the chance to experience the bold colors of the trees that make me thank my lucky stars that I’ve grown up in the Appalachian Mountains.
Realistically, those bright colors are a preclude to death. They are a beautiful explosion that results in emptiness. To some, that analogy may be depressing, but to me, it is far from it. On my quest to see God in everything, I have even learned to perceive winter cheerfully. While I used to dread it and see it as a desolate time of the year, I have learned to see it as the time in which Earth gets to rest. It has experienced the vivacity of summer and the serenity of fall, and it simply needs time to recoup before life springs forth abundantly in the coming months… see what I did there? 😉
God knew what He was doing when he devised the seasons. Because no matter how optimistic we may be, our weak human hearts could not endure the rapid change of summer to winter… the greenery simply forsaking the branches in a short span of time. He had to give us something, a gift, to remind us to not lose faith during the year’s last season. He gives us autumn, a time when life feels like it is starting all over again even if much of the natural world is about to die. He gave us fall like He gave us Jesus. Without Jesus, the later years of life would be the most dreaded. Death would be eminent, and people would feel like life were meaningless after their kids and grandchildren were grown. But, since we have Jesus, the end of our lives and the suffering that often accompanies the transition into what comes next doesn’t have to be unbearable. As a matter of fact, we could look at that time of life fondly. Ecclesiastes 7:1 states “A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth.” I do not know many people who rejoice in death, but that is because we are human. We can, however, have eternal joy in knowing that our earthly death is just a passing over into something far beyond our wildest dreams. We can be as happy as we are during autumn throughout our entire lives. Nature’s grandest canvas will not compare to the home God is molding for us in Heaven, with each detail crafted by His very hand.
So, that is why I love fall. It reminds me that Jesus’s presence is eternal and that, no matter how difficult the future may be, it will bring marvelous things along the way, like the brilliant colors out my beloved bay window.
Pictures from Pinterest.