While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest,cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Genesis 8:22
It's a dark, chilly, rainy morning. Most of us were late for work, navigating city traffic among a people who are accustomed to 300 days of sunlight a year. All that sunshine makes a man forget how to drive through the rain.
One of the things I missed most about the northeast while I lived in Texas was four full seasons, each brilliant in their showtime. The neon green of spring, the evening breezes of summer, fall’s coat of many colors, and the stark cowlick trees against winter's horizon. Moving to a state familiar with them all, even if it is farther from my native roots, is a comforting return of sorts.
Autumn is always my favorite. The food: roots, potatoes, squashes, apples, and pears; I crave the tastes of fall all year long and stretch it as far as I’m able, deep into December. The weather: chilly, dark mornings, followed by the last bursts of warmth, and sinking into early evenings with long nights. The clothes: moccasins and scarves and Smart Wool socks and flannel. I love it all.
God designed Autumn to slow us down, but we have hurried it up: school and classes have started, yearly planning meetings, hot caffeinated beverages flowing fast and furious into our systems. We rush through this season, and the next two, so we can get at last to summer and rest.
God didn’t design the year like that, though. He made the long days of summer to be our hardest working times so we would come to the dark days of winter and remember He is our maker and the Lord of rest. He made the land to produce in the Spring and Summer and the vestiges of Fall so when we arrived on the threshold of Winter we would stand awkwardly, not knowing what to do with our hands.
When Nate and I went home to New York a few weeks ago, one of our evenings was spent with one of the families who have most influenced my understanding of rest, sabbath, seasons, locale, and creation care. We sat at their table long into the evening, candles burning down to puddles of wax in pewter holders, and we talked. No one wanted it to be over and this is how God has made it, I think.
The world will tell you to work harder, to achieve more, and to not count the cost this fall. The Creator tells you through creation to rest more, achieve less, and to enjoy every small moment of every short day this fall. Don’t waste your autumn.