The Shape of Autumn
Autumn is a blurred line between summer and winter. There are seldom days that are just true autumn days. Too often the days are either filled with Indian summer or tinged with winter's edges. We leave summer and progress towards autumn only one slow step at a time, returning to summer for three steps, before moving onward. The lines of seasonal demarcation are blurred, fading and receding, ebbing and flowing, hard to grasp or pin down. Maybe that's why it's so hard to let go of autumn, and why we look forward to it so much, and long for crispness before balmy has left our skin. The seasons blend, wavering and hovering, not to be too closely defined.
Autumn brings sharp lines between heaven and earth. On a bright autumn day, the sun is brittle in the brightness of it's shining, the sky is sharp on the horizon where autumns' blue meets the green of forest or field. The crispness of air draws a sharpness of hoarfrost on windowpane or autumn leaf, clear and concise in patterns of white. The light, while still sharp in the heavens, finds beams easier to penetrate in the cooler air, striking richness to our souls.
Autumn brings contrasts of sharp colors and soft raindrops. In no other season, do colors become so intense, sharp and vivid, penetrating our senses like flaming arrows. My eyes can never drink in as much as I want to behold, before they fade and are finally, irrevocably, gone. The fall rains come, dulling everything in the autumn world, dripping slowly and softly. The leaves are extinguished, and become a carpet of wet under our feet, redolent of musky earth. The wind seek cracks in our windows and clothing, prowling around corners and racing down chimneys. The winds' moaning turns to howling, and the bare branches writhe, stripped of summers' softness.
The shape of autumn is easily seen in the leaves of trees, shrubs and flowers. The shapes of these leaves are never really noticeable in summer somehow, but in autumn each shape become a flaming or glowing reality. The bright oranges, golds, yellows or reds seemingly bring focus to bear on each leaf shape and size. The maple leaves are so easily recognized with their five-pointed shapes, each tip so sharp and strong. The aspen or birch leaves are slender and pointed, while the cottonwoods have velvety soft backs and small sharp points. Who can resist cutting branches of leaves to bring indoors, or picking up favorite ones to savor. Tracing leaf shapes on paper or making rubbings of their shapes is still an autumn favorite for me. The shapes of autumn leaves are as endlessly fascinating as the shapes of seashells, or snowflakes. How wonderfully creative our God is in His very Being, and how varied is our world.
It's time to say adieu to autumn, perhaps before I'm quite ready to let it go. But now it is hello to winter and all wintertime delights.
May God bless your expressions of gratitude this Thanksgiving, and may you all have a blessing-filled celebration.
My thoughts are with you Julie and family, and Mom and Dad, as we cannot be with you this year. May your week-end be special for each of you. Love you so much......