I’ve always been partial to autumn; I’m not quite sure why that is, but I have been.
As a youngster, I always looked forward to summer; I would imagine most kids do since school is out. Even now I look forward to summer. I like the warm weather, being outside and everything being green with abundant life; I never want summer to end…
Even so, when summer does pass by and autumn begins to burst onto the scene with cooling temperatures and amazing displays of color, I sort of glory in its beauty. It is almost as though God sat down at his easel, mixed His paints and began to show us His artistic abilities, an artistry that no mere human can begin to compete with.
When I was young and growing up in Los Angeles, Fall was more subtle than it is in many places; the seasons are not nearly as drastic in their differences there. For one thing, the months of September and October are sometimes the hottest of months. For another, most of the trees do not turn, and the ones that do change color in late November and early December. I can recall looking at magazines as a youngster and seeing pictures of Fall in other areas, and I must admit that I marveled at them and looked forward to a date off in the distant future when I might travel and see such sights. The funny thing is that when I grew up and actually experienced the autumn landscape, I was shocked to discover that those photographers who took those pictures that I had seen in magazine must have been wearing coats; I had seen those things in a place where the days were in the 90’s and over 100.
I still chuckle at the memory.
I left California in my early 20’s and have experienced the wonders of autumn ever since, and I must say that it has become my favorite season of the year. I love the colors of the leaves, the landscapes, the pumpkins and even the cuisine.
There is more to the season than this, however. Autumn is a sort of metaphor for something far greater and more significant that just amazing sights, for to me anyway, it is demonstrative of the faithfulness of God. Every year the seasons come at their appointed times and do what they are supposed to do. When spring comes, things begin to grow, the flowers display their color, and the grass of the fields begins to turn them green. Farmers plant their crops and they grow. Then summer comes and the days heat up as the grass and fields become lush with green life
Fall comes along and much of the plant life begins to grow dormant; grass turns brown, crops are harvested and the forest puts on an amazing display of glory; the grand finale of the year before their leaves fall to the ground and die. Finally the winter comes and cold grips the landscape reminiscent of the cold grave. Many animals hibernate, the rest struggle to survive the winter. In many places the ground is covered by snow; nothing is growing…
Then, spring returns and the land is reborn.
Aren’t our own lives on this earth much like that?
We are born, we grow and flourish for a time, and then we fade and die. Yet many of us go through this life process with the surety of hope that the day will come when we, like the plants of the fields, will come forth again to the glory of God.
I think of the autumn and I am filled with a childlike wonder when I consider how God takes such care to show off His paintbrush, for in doing so He reminds us that He is still in charge, and that when the winter has had its season, life will return to the earth.
Yes, the older I get, the more comfort I find in the autumn of the year.