On summery August mornings I can smell, see and hear the signs of fall – fallen leaves, honking geese, and crickets singing. I used to really love fall, and I’m not saying I don’t like fall now, but I do accept it with less fervour than I used to.
Chunky pumpkins, brilliant leaves in shades of gold and red, an afternoon of apple picking, a warm breeze with a hint of chill, I do enjoy those traits of fall. An evening walk that smells of wood fires makes me smile and feel a warmth in my chest. Fall evokes warm, cozy, even nostalgic feelings, all enjoyable to my five senses.
Sometimes I look at old photo albums and see my children’s younger faces smiling back at me from September ‘back to school’ photos. I fondly remember new back packs and lunchboxes lined up, overflowing with new pencils and scribblers, waiting for the first day of school. In my minds eye I see pony-tailed children waving at me from yellow school bus windows… and I try to smile and not feel too sad.
When I smell my Thanksgiving turkey baking, I see my mom donned in her apron, fluttering around her tiny kitchen. She loved cooking for us, and we loved eating her delicious turkey dinner, pumpkin pie and hot apple pie. Flavours of fall.
Even though fall marks a season of tragedy in my life, that doesn’t completely hide all the beautiful attributes assigned to it. Grief and the sting of loss hold a place in my heart in September, but overall light, happiness and peace shine down on me.
Grief can make you look at memories through a foggy tear stained lens some days.
I remind myself that it’s ok to feel both happy and sad at the same time. Both emotions can co-exist in my heart. One doesn’t have to negate the other.
I do feel a lot of nostalgia during the fall months, when Thanksgiving arrives and the hush of darker days settles. After all, my grown children no longer live with me, and my parents no longer walk here.
There’s a restlessness in my spirit when fall arrives, displaying her red, orange and gold hues like a beautiful cape. Her crown adorned with sunflowers, acorns, gourds and leaves. I feel a bit of dread because of the shorter days, less sunshine and chillier winds.
I’m no wimp. I can chin-up, dress-up and go for a walk in the darker colder days. And I do!
I often wonder if the grief and pain of slogging through deep ‘wintry valleys’ has made this heart more fragile and tender. Squishy, like an over ripe peach. More apt to want to isolate and hide away. Spring and summer just seem more kind, gentle and life-giving.
I know that right on the heels of fall is winter – and for me walking in that season seems to weigh me down. When darker days, longer nights, and bitter cold winds take their toll, sometimes I struggle to hang onto hope.
I seem to need more light than winter can give. More hope, peace, and joy than a freezing February day provides.
In these days I remember that I need to ‘remember God’.
The word REMEMBER is spelled out in wooden scrabble letters on my windowsill. A daily reminder for my forgetful mind to remember His faithfulness.
He is in ALL things, ALL ways, ALL seasons. Seasons of loss, grief, and tears that fall like cold icy rain in January. Yes, even then. Especially then.
I write down verses for my windowsill. I memorize hopeful truth-filled Bible verses, and I stand in my kitchen with arms lifted high and sing. Sing to Him, my Beautiful Healer, Hope-giver, Promise Keeper, Comforter, and Abba father.
I speak what I know, what I believe in my heart, and I claim His truths over my life and the people I love. My people who live near, far and in the deepest place in my heart.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17
Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me , so my feet did not slip. The Lord lives! Blessed be my ROCK ! – Psalm 18:35-36,46
He is a million times faithful.
He is the good in all the good I see.
He is the holiest Holy One who resides with us.
He is the Father who holds my tiny hand in His strong gentle one.
He offers PEACE in winter, JOY in troubled times, and LOVE on the unlovely roads I sometimes traverse.
He is the lifter of my head on dark winter nights.
He always gives life to my tired winter soul.
I can lean on Him.
I don’t have to fear the changing seasons because I know that even in fall, I can stand.