It’s that time of year once again. The time when there’s that little nip of coolness in the air, especially first thing in the morning. Even the sunlight is crisper, giving us a hint of the chill that’s soon to follow. Yes, it’s the end of summer….
We can almost see the chill in the trees around us, as the leaves are slowly changed from multi-hued shades of green to vivid tones of red and yellow and orange, as the Lord uses His heavenly paintbrush to color the landscape for us. Gradually those leaves begin to fall from the branches and rain down on us all, forming piles of crackly color that we suddenly want to rake together into a big pile so we can jump into it, like we did when we were children!
Then there are pumpkins. It seems like they’re everywhere. Sitting on displays in stores and along roadside stands, surrounded by colorful fall leaves. Some have carved or painted faces. There’s pumpkin spiced coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie…you name it! Fall presents us with an invasion of pumpkin everything! With a little apple cider thrown in!
There are bales of hay in the fields, as well as those triangular stacks of corn twisted to resemble Indian tepees. Bonfires are scheduled, and high school football games are big news every weekend!
Yes, it’s fall!
Now here comes the” back in the day” stuff….
When I was growing up, fall signaled the beginning of back to school, for both my mother and me. As a teacher she had bulletin boards to decorate, students’ names to learn, and lesson plans to prepare. I had notebooks and pencils and book covers to buy, and homework to do.
The grapes on our two grape arbors suddenly became ripe and lusciously edible. The trees in the woods behind our house turned beautiful colors and dropped their leaves for us to run through on Saturday afternoons. We never gave a thought about the copperhead snakes that could be out there hiding under those leaves.
My uncle always made the most beautiful jack-o’-lanterns. Over fifty years ago, he was painting faces and other designs on pumpkins rather than carving them, because they’d last longer. My hometown had an annual Halloween parade, with several of the main streets blocked off so the participants could march around our little business district and the county courthouse. Children and adults paraded around streets in costumes and competed for prizes, and the streets were filled with onlookers. My aunt and uncle actually won first prize in the adult division one year, dressed as Raggedy Ann and Andy. (How many of you know who they are?) And if memory serves me correctly, I think some of the local churches sponsored the parade and contributed the prizes!
Believe it or not, I’m not a lover of the fall season. I like my sandy beaches and sun and warmth, with seagulls squawking as they try to steal a French fry here or there, and the sound of the waves crashing in the surf. I like my flip flops and bright beach towels, floating in my pool on a hot afternoon, and eating grilled hamburgers outside in our screened-in porch.
If I had it my way, it would be summer all year round. But I don’t make those decisions; I don’t even get a vote.
Genesis 8:22 speaks to us about the seasons changing and reminds us there will always be “planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter.” It’s a natural progression. Fall is necessary to bring the harvest in, and without the harvest, how would we survive the winter? Even though we now get food year ‘round from other countries whose harvest times are different than ours, we still must rely on the harvest to complete God’s plan.
Whether I like it or not, like the seasons in our lives, seasons end, and new seasons begin. Fall follows summer, winter follows fall, and then finally spring comes back around! It’s His divine plan. Who am I to question?