"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
Every fall I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
As August turns to September and the September days quickly click by I find myself feeling momentarily sad that summer is ending, that the cold will arrive sooner than I'd like it to, and that the days are getting shorter, shorter, shorter...until it begins to feel strange to be eating dinner at 5:30 p.m. because suddenly it is dark outside...like I'm having an odd dream where we're all eating tuna casserole in the middle of the night.
But then...then...I see a corner of a tree in my neighborhood transforming its hue from green to yellow or burnt orange or a vibrant red.
Oh yes, the leaves. I love the leaves in October.
And as much as I am not looking forward to winter and the dreary gray skies that seem to hover over our Lake Erie town for months on end, pushing their heaviness on my moods more than I'd like, I do love the incredible and natural living art that surrounds me for six weeks before the dark nights move in...It's like the grand finale on the 4th of July...And maybe a a bit of a consolation prize for the long cold months ahead.
As Scott and I drove the 375 miles from Buffalo through Canada to Grand Rapids, MI, and back again this past weekend I felt so fortunate to be driving, through a stretch of gorgeously displayed creation...at one point, I told Scott, "I feel like we're driving through a painting!"
I know, I'm a cheeseball, and a sucker for vividly created artwork, particularly of landscapes, and colors and trees and long drives with my husband sitting next to me.
He just smiled, "That's sweet babe!" He knows I'm a sucker for all such things and smiles because he thinks it's cute.
And then, the other day as I was driving, I saw this bush...this crazy red bush...I almost pulled right over to the side of the road, something I've actually done quite a lot of over the last couple of weeks (people probably think I'm having car trouble or that I'm lost lost or yelling at my kids), but we were late so I opted to keep going.
Fortunately I saw two more car stopping displays that I did manage to pull over and snap shots of with my cell phone...Here is the one from Tuesday...
And another from yesterday...
And all I could think was, "Wow! It's like the burning bush."
You know, the story in Exodus where God sends Moses a really clear sign that He needs to speak to him. A sign like a flaming red bush (in which the leaves never become consumed) just to make sure he grabs Moses' attention (we humans can be very distractible sometimes!).
And then I was hit with what seemed like such an obvious notion...Every Fall as the leaves change, and become hard to ignore because their beauty is so overwhelming, I realize even more acutely than usual that God still speaks to us today... He wants our attention. He wants our praise. He wants us to know that He cares. His mastery is evident in the changes of seasons and His artistry is hard to ignore in the magnificent grand finale of Fall.
I may not stop to smell the flowers as often as I should, but I do stop to look at the trees!
So now, when I pull over on the side of the road to take in the beauty of a tree, I try to say a quick and silent prayer. Thank you for the trees and for the seasons...AND please give me the joy and energy I need to get through the cold winter (haha...I actually don't add that last part, but maybe I should!).
So, if you are sad that summer has passed and feel as if you didn't take enough time to stop and smell the roses, stop now and watch the trees and remember God is still trying to get our attention all of these thousands of years later.
Two more roadside shots-- the first is of our street several weeks ago ( I liked to refer to it as the golden tunnel) and the second is of a random tree appreciation moment on our way home from picking up our crop share earlier this week: