Fall. Autumn. Harvest time. This is a season that brings joy to so many. The crisp, cool air after a long, warm summer. The beauty of the leaves changing color on the trees. The frosty grass in the morning. The harvest of favorites like squash and pumpkin, apples and figs. There are so many truly delightful aspects of fall. In fact, I think it is my favorite.
I also love fall because of the spiritual significance that I see. There are so many great lessons to be learned from this season of harvest. Let me share with you three of them.
Fall is a time to count your blessings.
Today we use the words fall or autumn, but in years past this time was referred to as “harvest” or “harvest season.” It is the time of year when many trees, plants and other vegetation are yielding their last fruits in preparation to lay dormant for the cold winter months. Even at our little local CSA farm, we have enjoyed picking our pumpkins and squash, our last heads of lettuce, and beautiful carrots. I could go on and on there is so much beautiful bounty.
As we are full swing into this harvest season, I see it as a wonderful time to count all of the things that we are “harvesting” in our lives right now. What have you worked for? What has been given to you? What have you achieved in the spring and summer of your life so far? The truth is, in all things, it is good to asses what has taken place and look to what is ahead. This could be in our marriage, our parenting life, our family, friends, singleness, career, home, and more. During the autumn of our life, we have quite a rich perspective and this gives us the ability to truly count our blessings.
Fall is a time to realize that everything on this earth is temporary.
Many of us can agree that one of the most spectacular things about fall is the changing leaves on the trees. Not just us midwesterners love it, but others drive for miles just to experience it. The leaves go from vibrant green to beautiful shades of yellow and gold and red. Sometimes it happens gradually, and others overnight. Sometimes you’ll have one half of a tree decked out in the splendor of fall, and the other half desperately clinging to its chlorophyll in despair. The leaves, though they are beautiful, are dying. They will soon serve another purpose, covering the ground and leaving their nutrients in order to create something beautiful come spring time.
Change is a constant in life. Everything in life is changing. In fact, everything in life is also dying. (my nerd friends would call this the second law of thermodynamics, or maybe entropy) The beginning of fall is beautiful. We love the crisp air and the changing trees. We light fires in the fireplace and mull spices on the stove. We sip hot apple cider and pumpkin flavored coffee. And as fall continues, we look outside and it seems as if everything is dying. And that’s because it is, honestly. But this change is necessary, because without fall, there would be no spring or even summer.
In the fall, the bare branches and falling leaves remind us that everything is temporary. Everything is here for a season. This life is both beautiful and evanescent. Things are given to us, and things are taken from us. All is temporary, and that isn’t a bad thing. It allows us to love a little more, hug a little tighter, laugh a little harder, and just plain see the good because all of this good comes and goes. It brings to my mind that all is fleeting and makes me want to live my life to the very fullest.
Fall is the time to Let it Go.
Watch the leaves. I know, I know, I keep talking about them. But it is an absolutely beautiful metaphor of how important it is to let things go. Some things we need to just let go of and allow them to remain in the past. In life we have so many burdens, and it is freeing to let them go as we look ahead and march into the future. The fall is our chance to take an inventory of the things that have been weighing us down, and to let them graciously fall, to let them go, as we move forward without them.
Though I told you I’d share three things, I could go on and on. Let me mention one last little gift that fall gives to me. Fall teaches me to enjoy the little things in life. I love our fireplace. I love reading. I enjoy the crispness of the cool air, and the smell of that first frost. I love the beauty of a mum strategically placed on the front porch. And that means this: the littlest things in life have great capabilities to bring us much joy. Celebrate some of them today.