Friday, 21 September 2012

Embracing Fall

laying on the road for this shot

I am a romantic through and through and so
I have always loved fall.  
For me, it is a season infused with magic -- from energy-filled walks on cool, crisp mornings to the warm sun streaming down on slow-paced afternoons.  I am enraptured by the wild display of blazing colors and transformation everywhere.

I wish I could bottle up fall’s fragrance so I could spritz it on my sheets and pillows. Fall is the back-to-school season, that deeply ingrained internal rhythm of fresh beginnings and renewed purpose.  Fall is about fullness and abundance, harvest and bounty.  It is farmer’s markets, wide smiling sunflowers, and crabapples eaten right off the tree.  It is jean-jackets, soft flowing scarves, and a favorite pair of boots.
last flower offerings from the Fall Farmer's Market

this is ME!

gift from a neighbour making my whole home fragrant

September in Banff, AB.
FALL IS ALL OF THIS, and SO MUCH MORE.  It is this “more” part of fall that I am not always as eager to embrace.

Fall is the closing of doors only recently flung wide open.  It is seeds falling into the ground, dying now for a harvest later.  It is a beginning of the dormancy - the waiting.  It is the letting go of summer and the surrendering to winter.  We can clutch and cling and grasp for yesterday, but it has already slipped through our fingers.  Fall is the quiet acceptance that all things change and that change is good -even necessary.

I love the way Nicole Nordeman describes the transition from summer to fall in her song Seasons, and the way she sees God in it all:

Every evening sky an invitation
To trace the patterned stars
And early in July, a celebration
For freedom that is ours
And I notice You in children's games
In those who watch them from the shade
Every drop if sun is full of fun and wonder
You are summer.

And even when the trees have just surrendered
To the harvest time
Forfeiting their leaves in late September
And sending us inside
Still I notice You when change begins
And I am braced for colder winds
I will offer thanks for what has been and what's to come
You are Autumn.....

As we continue forward in this gorgeous season -the celebration and culmination of all things summer, I ask you the same questions I am asking myself: are you willing to embrace all that this autumn season represents in your life?  Will you keep your eyes open for the ways God will show himself - not just in the bounty and harvest, but also in the rest, the dormancy and even the dying?  Will you recognize and offer thanks for the gifts He faithfully and lovingly provides - not just in the easy, warm summers of our lives, but also in the cold and barren winters?

My prayer for you today is that you may grasp the "extravagant dimensions of Christ's love.  Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God." 
(Ephesians 3:18b the Message translation) 

I invite your comments as you reflect on this post today. I'd love you to join the conversation.  

All photos © Melody Armstrong

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