Who doesn’t like autumn? It’s the season of change, when we go from the hot, sticky days of summer to the cooler and crisper air of fall. The leaves change color and silently fall away from their hosts, carpeting the ground in a quilt of many colors. Many folks lament fall, knowing it’s the harbinger of a coming winter season. Many compare fall to a season of dying, leaves dying, crops dying, daylight itself dying off in time present. But I think differently, I appreciate the autumnal season as a precursor to the cycle of life.
Maybe it’s because I was born in the fall, late October, in the foothills of North Georgia, that I have such an appreciation for this time of year. Maybe it’s because the things I like most are the fall, I love the cool but not cold, the colors of the change of season, the smell of outdoor fires and even the burnt dust smell of the first time the heat kicks on for the year. And candy at Halloween ain’t a bad deal either!
Soon after comes Thanksgiving (in the US at least) and as the season progresses, it leads us into the winter, the night and the long rest the world needs. In old times, before our modern conveniences of electric light, internet and a constant barrage of news, my grandparents told me stories of winter being a truly restful time, a time to recharge and reflect, reset and prepare, to enjoy the work of a hard, hot summer on a rural Georgia farm.
The world today is a mess, it’s full of bad news, idiots in charge and war on the horizon. But it isn’t the first time this change of season has seen bad times. the world has survived and will continue to survive, so long as we have faith that it will. Take some time this fall to walk in the woods, feel the change happening around you. Look, listen, smell, touch and breathe in the air around you. Go to local festivals, enjoy being a part of the world, instead of a spectator.
The last few years have seen us captured and restricted because of people and their desires to bend wills and scare people. Not to say illness and sickness isn’t real, it is. But it is part of the cycle we’re discussing. Not all things that wither in fall and die in winter return in the spring. This is the cycle of life. But on the whole, as sure as the world descends into the change of seasons of fall and winter, it will revolve around again into the birth of spring.
Time, and the seasons (which measured time long before clocks), is a wheel, it spins and never stops. The seasons, like our lives, are not a straight line, they are a circle, returning to the ‘beginning’ as sure as it will reach the end. Where we choose to focus our intent and attention to our spot on the wheel is up to us.
Let us go out and enjoy the seasons, of both our world and our lives.
We will never be at this precise spot on the ‘wheel’ ever again.
“Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver