Fall has been my favorite season for as long as I can remember. There is something that wakens and quickens me… something far down deep in my soul that is hard to even put words to. Anticipation is all around- I am eagerly waiting.
Equally I find myself constantly lost in my thoughts and staring off towards the mountains- and perhaps it’s the juxtaposition of both that provides the wonderful tension that makes me love fall as I do. I always think of my favorite F Scott Fitzgerald quote about life starting all over again in the fall and, for me, this time of year serves as a reset, in a New Year’s Resolution kind of way.
Experiencing the fullness of this season for the first time in the mountains has been life giving, I’m constantly aware of my surroundings and mentally comparing the differences of fall in Summit County to Fayetteville. There is a dry crispness and intense brightness here that is dazzling.
I was hiking at a new place recently and kept pushing harder, going faster, forcing my legs to keep going up a hill until my lungs burned and I couldn’t breathe. It’s a place of quiet that my busy mind rarely goes to. All around me was heaven, the light filtering through the aspens, creating a golden hue that made my heart hurt. The wind whispered through the woods, twirling the branches, turning the leaves into glittering orbs and making a kaleidoscope of shadows. I was intensely aware of the sweet smell of the forest decay and where I was on this crowded planet. Small, brightly colored leaves littered the soft trail, like confetti celebrating the return of the cold and quiet months.
And I welcome it too, the death of life to make way for another season. It seems odd to celebrate fall sometimes, maybe it’s the acceptance and finality of it that allows us to see the beauty in it. Wouldn’t it be great if we were like this with most of our lives? Instead of fearing change and trying to perfect our lives we simply embraced the reality that life is messy and beyond our control? All of life is like this really, seasons of life and death. A time of life can be over and that is really ok if we have the right perspective and let go of our preconceived notions of what a situation should have been.
I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately and how it’s such a process for most. I’ve heard people speak of it when they are ready to go, with a tiredness yet a joy. It seems morbid, but seeing life through that filter the last few weeks has been fascinating.
Recently it was the anniversary of the death of Rich Mullins and I listened to him share- “So go out and live real good and I promise you’ll get beat up real bad. But, in a little while after you’re dead, you’ll be rotted away anyway. It’s not gonna matter if you have a few scars. It will matter if you didn’t live.”
It’s simple really- and I want to live life.