The day I have impatiently waited for has finally arrived: It is now consistently autumn here in the Kansas City metro area. Daily highs are in the low sixties and upper fifties…the trees are slowly changing from green to gold to amber/orange and on to brown…the townie-geese are receiving their annual out-of-town visitors, many of whom will make this their residence throughout the chill of winter… Yes, it is Autumn. Thanks be to God!
Autumn has always been my favorite season. Much of it has to do with the trees – the way they put on such extravagant dress for a few brief weeks before baring it all in the name of winter. There are so many other things that I love about the fall – and in the name of gratitude and joy-centered living, I think this is the time to list them:
In the midst of Autumn, I love:
- the crisp, clear quality of the air. It is as though one can see farther and with more precision during the months of October and November.
- pumpkins: small, big, round, misshapen, knotted, orange, white, yellowish-green, squatty…I love them all!
- autumn leaves, especially those from the many varieties of maple tree. The bright burnished reds are my favorite.
- autumn clothing: sweaters and jeans, boots and jackets, leather and wool…all are snuggly and wonderful. I’m also a fan of tweeds.
- autumn colors, filled with brightness…as though the world is steeling itself for sharp austere winter with wild displays of extravagance and warmth!
- autumn flavors: buttery squash, nuts, pumpkin, cinnamon, chocolate, mocha, spiced apple (especially the juicy honeycrisp!)
- soups. All of them.
- chili. Any variety will do, though I particularly love the white chicken chilis of the world.
- the way that leaves leap from the trees and swirl down towards the earth – flurries of foliage covering everything in their path.
- the way that our dog, Shelby, seems to gain energy and puppy-ness in the fall. She scampers and prances through the leaves, picks up the scent of squirrels and is transformed into a tracker, chases the cats with renewed vigor…
- squirrels throwing acorns, hiding acorns, taunting the dog, peppering our windows and cars with a barrage of oaken projectiles…
- college football, particularly glorious purple and white TCU football! Go Frogs!
- crisp sunny days followed by chilly nights.
- concentrated celebrations: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Advent all packed into a tight succession of festival joy.
- children living out their fantasies, transformed into ninjas and heroes, princesses and rock stars, fairies and animals galore.
- warm beverages… particularly coffee, but also cocoa, tea, hot cider, hot spiced wine – all transforming the night’s chill into something magical.
My goal this autumn is to be present to the wonder of the season. Many an autumn-past has slipped by without my full attention, and I have suffered for it. Many a Fall I have been so engrossed in worry or work or worthless pursuits that I have missed out on the joy that attends this season. So, this year, I will notice. I will celebrate Autumn in all of her fullness, all of her transformative glory.
This year I will let my eyes see the presence of God in the season, and I will be grateful.