Monday, October 3, 2016

The Gift of Fall

My soon-to-be-eleven-years-old son Dylan is so excited about fall. His birthday is in late October so he thinks that every leave that turns its color is a gift from God especially tailored to him. It’s so funny! Every day he’d make sure I take a good look at the trees and join him in his rejoicing for what he calls, “the season of his birth.” Little does he know that his Mom has a love-hate relationship with fall that she, herself, can’t even explain…

The way I see it, fall is truly a melancholic season. It is a season of loss and lows. For me, personally, loss seems to usually happen in the fall. I lost my Father in the fall. I lost a family relationship in the fall. I lost my identity in the fall. Job loss and health loss have also occurred in the fall. And the bummer of all losses, every year I lose summer in the fall!

I pondered all this stuff while I was on a power walk around my neighborhood this morning since it is my day off! As the thought of loss creeped into my mind during my walk, I felt a burst of sadness chocking me at the moment when I realized it will be four years this November that I lost my Dad. I was surprised by the wave of emotion at the reality of my still very fresh sadness for the loss of whom I used to consider my pillar on earth. I was embarrassed to think that someone might have been watching me out the window from any of my neighboring houses…and as I kept walking with my head down, I saw a single, small leave on the pavement. It was its bright color what caught my attention. I would have missed it otherwise. I got closer and looked at it for a while. It was truly a thing of beauty.

I kept walking and thinking: “why would God make something become so breathtakingly beautiful right about the time it is ready to die.”

A thought came rushing to my mind: “because there is beauty in loss.”

Everything He has created is good! He doesn’t make no junk! Even loss, if we look closely, brings about a renewal that can be beautiful in itself. If I look closely, after every experience of loss I have had, there has been a period of challenge, intensity and incredible growth that could not have occurred but for the loss that preceded it. I just have to tune into the Holy Spirit to see it, to accept it, to receive it and to praise Him for it.

Fall will always be a time of deep melancholic feelings for me. But, perhaps, if I hold my thoughts captive and allow the Lord to renew my mind, I could finally join Dylan in his rejoicing for the season as I learn to see that fall is indeed a great gift from God to us all.

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