Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Glorious Fall!

I thank God for the artistry of the seasons, especially fall.

It wasn’t always that way. I used to hate the fall. That all changed, some years ago now, when one of the most difficult times of life for me began as August drew to a close. Summer had always been my favorite season. I guess that started back when summer heat signaled freedom: freedom from teachers, schedules, and routines. Summer meant swimming pools and baseball, driving late at night with the windows down and Van Halen playing too loudly on the old Kenwood. We’d play whiffle ball in the park behind the house and we’d all keep our home run stats and batting averages for the season. So from childhood on, fall symbolized sadness for me, an abrupt ending to the joy of rest and play.

So I distinctly remember when life fell apart at a time that coincided with summer’s end. I recall praying to God and telling him that I didn’t know if on top of all the pain I was feeling that I could handle grey skies and a depressing fall. Now I’m fully aware that God didn’t change the weather because of me, but I did experience the most wonderful and paradoxical joy that year: the most glorious fall I’d ever seen, juxtaposed against the darkest emotional despair of my life. The skies were so blue you could drink them. The trees were ablaze with color. I’ll never forget the golden-clad oak that towered in front of my apartment. I deliberately went out several times a day just to see that tree that stood like a masterpiece on the canvas of the Virginia sky. It was as if God were saying, “Even in the midst of the Great Darkness of your life, I will paint for all creation reminders of hope and the restoration of all things.” I heard the Gospel in the rustle of trees that year and I witnessed God reclaiming my soul in the autumn skies. And I’ve needed to hear that sacred song and see heaven’s display many times since.

I thank my God for the artistry of the seasons.