The Beauty of Autumn

Just Fall leaves 2after the death of the flowers, And before they are buried in the snow,

The comes a festival season, When nature is all aglow –

Aglow with a mystical spendour, That rivals the brightness of spring,

Aglow with a beauty more tender, Than aught which fair summer could bring.

Emeline B. Smith, “Indian Summer”

During our lives Autumn represents the beginning of an adventure, preparing for celebration, longer nights and the crisp smell of the decaying leaves while the earth preparing for its winter slumber and the end of our lives as we know it. Sounds very ominous but it is the cycle of all out lives, the ebb and fall of the time span of our lives.

The adventure – In my youth Autumn always signified the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. The day following Labor Day we were starting our new grade and perhaps a new school. The anticipation of meeting up with old friends, seeing new people and adjusting to any social and educational changes as we grew older was very high those first weeks.

The celebration – The later part of the year was always filled with the excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving always represented the gathering of friends & family and share dishes that had been prepared for generations or trying out for the first time. The focus of the holiday for me was not just the food but connecting with people, spend time with your immediate family or extended family reaffirming that connection that is/was very important in forming you into the person you are. God brings people in and out of your life to fill a need, to steer you in the right direction or support you when you have tough times. It is important to serve others but, sometimes, you need to step back and allow someone else to take on the task. You are still serving by the act of restraint. Christmas is my favorite holiday! The decorations, lights, cards, presents, songs and food! But after the baking has been done, the presents bought & wrapped, decorations up and the last card mailed I enjoy the quiet of the late night, sitting on my front porch wrapped in an old family quilt and let the peace fill me. The celebrations can be big and loud or still and quiet, both enlighten the spirit.

Span of time – That phrase has several meanings. The beginning and ending of an event, a period of time or a life. Autumn is another phrase to describe the twilight of our lives. You have let go of the playfulness of youth, the discovery of your 20’s and 30’s, the settling of your 40’s and 50’s and reevaluating in your 60’s. You have established yourself as an individual and understand the importance of acceptance and of letting go of things that are no longer important. Respect and cherish your time or the time you have with others. Taking the best of your past and applying it to the present and plan for the future. And the future is always a different shade of bright!