How do you feel about Autumn?
Do you see Fall as a beautiful expression of nature, arrayed in all its splendor? Do you breathe deep the crisp air and admire the colorful trees? Do you relish the scent of pumpkin and ginger, take delight in the sound of swirling leaves, and feel energized from the chill on the wind? Or do you hate the allergies that accompany dried vegetation? Do you dislike that blustery, damp, cold atmosphere, the dying, dirty, disheveled leaves, and loss of summer flowers and crops?
We’ve all heard analogies which liken the seasons to human life. For example: Life starts as a sort of spring. We are born, fresh, new, and vibrant. Even now as we ponder, we envision adorable bunnies and chicks; add in babies and puppies (sorry, as a pet lover, I couldn’t help adding puppies) and our scene is set. Next, our effervescent, lively, animated days of youth and young adulthood almost sparkle as we bask in the summer sun: active, alive, with more plans and dreams than can barely fit inside a lifetime. Sure, we’ll see a thunderstorm now and then, but for the most part we remain a bit in awe of the accompanying lightning while we await the sun’s return, still believing we are near invincible.
Then what happens? We “mature.” We certainly notice life, let’s say, adjusting. I definitely creak a bit when I get up. I need reading glasses - still hard to comprehend. I can’t move as quickly, nor remember why I just climbed the stairs. Like the maple leaf, I feel each breath of wind more fully. What marks this stage? What emotions now rule? Do we fear or regret reaching our Fall? A few years ago, I dreaded seeing my age’s “number” rise. Who wants to let go of strong health and boundless energy? Dare I assume, very few, if any. However, I’ve learned to welcome every number, considering each a milestone in my journey. I may wrinkle, as do those leaves; my energy may slow or reduce, as does the length of daylight. I may face issues of withering, fading, and aging as I weather more driven storms with nary a rainbow in sight. Yet, I slowly realize… with age comes wisdom and a better sense of what life is all about. I understand the value in tranquility and serenity (peace and contentment over minor, but unexpectedly significant things, places, and events). I know better what love (in its many forms) means, much more fully, and maybe even understand the value in virtues like patience, humility, and true justice. In our, or at least my, youth, I was unaware of the depth in some of these precious ideas and treasures. I am thankful to have come through life transitions, challenges, and tests of will. Gratitude and optimism have grown in me; I believe thanks to all that has come before.
Therefore, I witness the beauty and astonishing colors; I breathe the crisp air. I anticipate pumpkin pies and the warm, orange glow from the wood stove. I can’t leave out campfires and s’mores under a star-filled sky. Suddenly, I confess an appreciation of my own autumn as something to savor, despite traces of brown spots and gray hairs.
Today as I witness the glory of this fall day, I declare: Autumn is gorgeous. Fall possesses its own sophisticated look and feel. It shines in brilliant majesty…. And, so too, do we!
Regardless of stage of life, may we stand tall and savor each and every day as the gift it is.
“Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?” said Piglet
“Suppose it didn’t,” said Pooh after careful thought.
- Winnie the Pooh, A Blustery Day.
He fills your days with good things, so your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
- Psalm 103:5
For they [My words] are life to those who find them, bringing health to one’s whole being.
With all vigilance guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life.
- Proverbs 4:22-23
Lillian Corrigan uses writing to learn, inspire and encourage both others and herself. No stranger to devastating, life-altering hardship and loss, she's begun working as a motivational author.