Before the first red leaf audaciously upstaged its green leaf neighbors, before the first chill was present in the air, before the first fall drink made its seasonal debut on coffee shop menus, I was welcoming fall. The calendar had barely struck September 1, but I was eager for the seasonal shift.
Slowly, I began transforming my home into a sort of autumn paradise- switching out greens for burnt colored florals and placing pumpkins in indiscreet little nooks. I braved the cobwebs in our storage unit, determined to recover the box labeled “Seasonal Decor”- buried beneath several other boxes. What a joy to open the box and be reacquainted with the fall decor from years past.
As I admired the decorations, it dawned on me that I wait for fall with great anticipation, each year. But as much as I consider fall to be the most vibrant and wonderful season that exists, there is something that I find beautiful in all of the other seasons, too.
When fall begins to transform into winter, I dread the unbearably cold days, but I cherish the coziness that arrives with them. I reluctantly trade my light cardigans for heavy jackets, but I treasure pulling out the hot chocolate, Christmas decor, and hearty, comfort foods. As winter melts into spring, I mourn the passing of holiday cheer, but I welcome new beginnings, bright blooms and the resurrection of things that were dead. As spring grows its way into summer, I dread the thought of temperatures that creep towards 100, but appreciate being able to take a relieving dip in cool waters. And just like that- the clock strikes “autumn” again.
What if we approached life’s “seasons” in this way? Our hearts are naturally inclined to long for the seasons that are vibrant and flourishing. But what if while we waited for our “best” season to arrive or return, we found joy in the in-betweens? What if we shifted our focus from what we are losing in one season, to what we are gaining in the next one?
Perhaps we would brave the cobwebs in our heart and dig deep enough to rediscover the beautiful things. Perhaps we would adorn our hearts with gratitude for the lessons and loveliness that each season offers in it’s own, distinct way. Perhaps we would ask God to grant us clarity and a renewed mind that is able to find the good- in seasons of drought and seasons of abundance, alike.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak and
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8