As I walked down the gravel lane to get the newspaper out of its yellow paperbox Saturday morning (similar to a mailbox but used only by the paper delivery guy), it required a jacket for the air was cold and the wind brisk and neither kitties nor humans were acclimated, yet.
Mouse had been curled up in her kitty bed on the porch and she let me know that a Hobbit second breakfast was required on this chilly morning. For nothing warms kitties like a full tummy. She did receive additional kibble in her bowl for her human servant had already seen the need for a second mug of coffee and fully understood her predicament.
The yellow leaves have been falling for a few weeks but on the walk back to the house, I noticed the leaves of the small tree in front were beginning to turn from a deep green to a chartreuse shade with one lonely red leaf dangling from a bottom branch. I don't think I've ever seen just one red leaf on a tree before.
These are the days I dream of in August when I think I cannot handle one more hot and humid day each season. My mind wanders to sweaters and jackets and cool weather and colorful leaves and hot beverages and throws on the corner of the sofa and curling up with a book and a cat.
My affections tend to sway between Fall and Christmas as to which is my favorite season. As if one were forced to choose when there is no person forcing us to do such a thing. Christmas is all about sparkle and glitter and finding the perfect gift and the promise of what is to come just as the Resurrection would someday follow the birth of Christ.
For me, Fall is a time one must grasp the loveliness because it is so fleeting. The only gifts are those I give myself... allowing myself time to set aside the necessary work for awhile each day to enjoy that which is a God-given temporary gift. In these pandemic days, that mostly means sitting on the porch, walking the gravel lane, or perhaps driving to the park with a mask and keeping a good distance from others.
I'm not sure why but Fall is when I most often like to talk to God... and listen. The older I get, the more I know that verse which says "My sheep hear my voice" is true. Not, of course, an audible voice but He speaks through that "still small voice" as well as His Word. Sometimes He speaks through the most unlikely means but then again, this is the God who spoke through a donkey at one time.
I wonder if this longing has something to do with the Hebrew calendar and the Fall Holy Feast Days we are in at the moment. Jesus not only lived by this calendar but it was God who gave it to His people in the first place. So I'm thinking there is something to their timing and meaning for all people.
Is that why I hear Him better during this time? Perhaps it is... maybe I'm just paying attention more than usual as Fall causes me to stop and reflect in this... the Selah season.
The other three seasons seem longer to me for once Christmas is over, Winter seems unending. Spring is beautiful but it merges into Summer without realizing it most of the time. Fall, however, must be embraced and noticed and pondered or it will arrive and be behind us before we can absorb what a gift it is each year.
The season has changed over the decades from when September meant the beginning of a new school year and the fashion issue of Seventeen Magazine. That was long ago and far away but I still enjoy bringing my colder weather clothes from the back of the closet and hanging my ancient but much loved flannel robe on the hook behind the bedroom door.
So, this week I plan to enjoy hot coffee in the rocking chair on the porch even if I must take a blanket with me on cool mornings. I want to gaze at the forest before the leaves are gone and my neighbor's red barn can once again be seen from my front porch because the trees are bare.
I want to slow down to grasp the Beauty which will seem to last only moments once blustery Fall winds have caused the trees to shed their leaves. Winter will come soon enough and along with it the Beauty of Christmas... but also slippery roads and brutal cold winds. I plan to hold on to Fall as long as possible.
Image: Ducks Unlimited: As Good as Home