Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Prayer

I turned the page of my daily devotion - "Glimpses of Grace" (Madeleine L'Engle) and saw the word written in all caps across the page:


I cannot believe it has arrived.  Yet, I say that every year.  Fall is always welcome in my life.  It is my favorite.  I adore the breeze and can stare at the changing wardrobe of the trees for hours.  Pumpkin spice anything is one of the best flavors to hit my tongue since last season.  There is a crispness to everything, from crackling leaves under shoes to the air that brings tears to my eyes when I look up to the sky at dusk.

I love it.  But I'm never quite ready for it.

John Mayer says it best in one of his songs:  "When autumn comes, it doesn't ask.  It just walks in where it left you last.  And you never know when it starts, until there's fog inside the glass around your summer heart."

The other seasons seem to happen more gradually.  And I'm not just talking about the weather because I know that it will still feel like summer well into September!  I'm talking about the weight of the words themselves - Fall; autumn; September.

We attach so many images, thoughts, memories and ideas to very basic words.  We plan our days around the changes each season brings and decorate our homes accordingly.

Fall means that part of creation and the blossoming of summer months is dying, turning in for the season, inhaling its last breaths for hibernation, stillness, barrenness.  And once we're in the thick of Fall, Winter's arrival feels more ordinary and natural (although not always as welcome).

Fall changes the psyche in exciting ways.  Sometimes I have no trouble saying "bye" to summer...the same way Abbey enthusiastically waves "bye" to me as I lay her down at night.  Other years I do struggle with letting summer go.  Fall, despite the thinness of the trees by November's end is a heavier time of year.  It brings physical challenges with the dropping of the temperature and fewer hours of daylight.  The cold and dark can be overwhelming to many of us.   In a few short weeks, the talk of holidays and family gatherings will pop up and settle on us - whether we anticipate these times or dread them like the flu.

We never know what to expect or how our season will unfold.  But one thing is for sure, Autumn comes without asking.  Before the leaves begin to fall and die, I pray the soil of our summer hearts is tilled and ready to keep warm in the cold of night.