Monday, October 19, 2015

Beauty in the Prelude

Not long ago at a Bible study we were supposed to start off by saying our names and our favorite thing about fall. That was hard for me…I don’t like fall…

It’s not that I don’t “like” fall. Of course I like it! What’s not to like? The turning leaves are stunning in this part of the world. The scented candles make the house smell like a home. The varieties of mums and the glorious wreaths add to the all the neighborhoods’ curb appeal. The delicious apple cider and the thousand and one pumpkin everything treats make your tummy scream YUMMY! It’s all just perfectly wonderful…but o so fleeting…

The splendor of the leaves lasts, perhaps two weeks. The winds from the north turn the breeze into a cold chill that bares the trees and freezes the soul. The mums start to wither and the wreaths begin to fade. Soon the stomach cannot tolerate any more pumpkin flavored-treats, and the candles are all melted away. All the raking of the leaves make one’s back break, hands blister and nose sore with allergic reactions that cause you to sneeze all day.

It’s like you blink and what made fall special is gone and what’s left is not more than the ghosts of a beautiful thing that has faded away…a ghost that ushers the hard times ahead. So, I guess, that’s why I don’t like fall…because it is the prelude, the ever so brief prelude to something I dread.


By definition, a prelude is an introductory action, event or performance that comes before a bigger or more momentous one. Fall, therefore, is the introductory event that comes before a really more momentous one…winter… And if I don’t like fall for what comes after, I really do NOT like winter for what it’s worth. The worst thing is that this year the prelude seems shorter than ever before! The leaves haven’t finished turning, and this morning is already record cold!

Thinking of winter really brings my spirit down. I can’t help it! I was born in the sun, with blue skies as the backdrop of my life. I grew up in a place where the heat burns your skin and the sound of the waves is never far away. So winter and I have never been friends.

This morning, then, reluctantly, I go outside because life doesn’t wait and time doesn’t stand still. The grass is completely covered with frost, but I have to let the dog out and wait for the school bus with Dylan, who is still not sure what the white stuff on the ground is. He doesn’t want to wear a coat and I explain, in the most loving way I can muster up, about the facts and reality of frost bite…so he obeys…I follow suit with a deep sigh…and venture outside.

The bus comes and Dylan goes to school…now it’s time for me to go to work. In the 3 minutes that takes me to get to my office, I see the car thermometer go down 12 degrees…hope is running low…


By the time I’m done with work, I step outdoors again and guess what? The sun is shining, the skies are blue, the thermometer has recovered the 12 degrees it lost in the morning plus a net gain of 15, which means I don’t need the coat anymore, and my soul starts to smile with the scent of hope once again.

Then a thought began to form in my mind…though the good things of fall may be brief, and it is just a doorway to the harshness of winter, perhaps, there is beauty to be found in this prelude.

I have to say that at that Bible Study I gave my usual depressing answer of: “I don’t like fall, blah, blah, blah” which brought everyone down a bit. But now I think that maybe next time I am asked to state my favorite thing about fall, I should just check my attitude and adjust my focus so I don’t miss the gift of a season that, although brief, is full of warmth and gatherings, so I don’t miss the beauty in the prelude because I dread what’s next, so I don’t miss the blessing of every day.

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” 
Genesis 8: 22

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