As I opened up the shades this morning, I was greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors… leaves falling to the ground forming a colorful carpet on the green grass…grass, preparing to go dormant for the winter.
I love autumn! In fact, it’s my favorite season. I love the sight and sound of geese migrating, the sweet smell of the cool autumn air, watching squirrels hide their nuts and hearing the laughter of children as they tumble in the leaves. Autumn, the season when God prepares a festival of colors just before He puts His earth to sleep for a long winter’s nap. Autumn is beautiful; even though everything begins to turn brown and the trees that once held an abundance of leaves, start displaying empty branches. There’s hardly a memory of the colorful leaves they once held. But yet, the trees seem to know that in a matter of months, they will welcome new life.
As I pause to take in the wonders of nature, I am reminded of how similar our lives are to the seasons. Conception and birth up to adolescence is the springtime of our life…spring, everything blossoms and comes to life. It’s just like birthing a child and watching him/her grow and blossom as new skills are learned and developed.
Young adulthood is like summer. Summer, when we see the full beauty of nature…flowers at their peak and fruits are the sweetest. The summer of one’s life is at the highest point…achieving and making a mark.
Middle age is autumn…time to harvest and yes, time to let go. Autumn shows us the beauty of letting go. Trees don’t hold on to their leaves. It is as though they realize the beauty of releasing the old and preparing for the new. A crisp breeze blows and the leaves tumble gently to the ground.
Autumn, so amazing! We enjoy the cozy autumn days and the crisp fall nights as we prepare to welcome in winter. And as we prepare, we harvest the memories of our spring and summer years.
Remembering where we have been, and wondering what’s next in our lives can bring about concerns… concern about losing our sense of identity now that the children are gone and retirement is looming ahead… feeling as though we have placed everyone’s well-being ahead of our own, and we look to reconnect and find a sense of purpose.
Once we enter our autumn years, some may say, “It’s a wrap.” I say, “We’ve only just begun.” Yes, there comes a time in our lives when we must “wrap” things up, but we must also prepare for our winter years. Even as we prepare, we must remember that each season offers a chance to be productive. It is never too late to enjoy life regardless of the season you’re in. There is a season for everything and we must change with each season of life.
We’ve made it through spring and summer and adapted to the changes required by each. And likewise, we’ll change, adjust and enjoy autumn. We’ll enjoy sweatshirt weather, the smell of pumpkin and cinnamon spices and hearing the crunch of leaves under our feet. And yes, we’ll adjust to the empty house and enjoy retirement as we prepare to welcome the next season…winter or the season some call old age…the age of wisdom!
Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life. Proverbs: 16:31