The leaves have been changing colors and falling to the ground far too fast for me this year. Summer was difficult to part with. It was a particularly busy summer — leaving no time for rest or relaxation for me. How I longed for just a little bit of summer "pausing." That was not in the plan for me this year. Now, it's merely a season past and I'll need to wait a year to experience it.
However, Autumn promises to bring its own gifts and beauty which oftentimes is breathtaking to me as I delight in a moment's respite observing the sun's rays pouring through white fluffy clouds that dot a turquoise sky, softly bringing a glow to the rich Autumn colors of reds, oranges, and golds. As a lover of nature, the warmth of these images can be felt straight through to my heart.
Leaf piles of years past come to my mind and the remembrance of lighthearted squeals from my kids throughout their carefree and tireless jumping. The air, feeling crisp and clear, with the crunching of leaves underfoot, beautiful star-decorated night skies — oh, glorious nature! Thank you, Lord for its beauty that fills our earth!
The smells of apples permeate the air as we reach to pick only the perfect ones from rows and rows of trees, filling our bags at the orchard. The sweetness of the apples quenches our mouths as we sample a few in order to make good choices! Apple picking has become a tradition in our family — a way we welcome the fall weather. The air turns brisk and we feel called to head to the orchard. I'm not sure what is more pleasant for me, the trip to the orchard with as many of my children — young and old — as are able to come, or the subsequent peeling, slicing, and assembling of our delicious red treasures into apple pies, apple crisp, and apple sauce to enjoy — with lots of cinnamon, of course! I absolutely love gathering my family together at every opportunity! There's also something very special about family members working together in the kitchen. Some may worry about the mess; however life is too fleeting to be concerned with spilled flour. We need to fully enjoy our together time.
Pumpkin picking and carving are also activities that we enjoy together in the fall. We like to go to a local pumpkin patch at a farm and pick out some of these great vibrant orange vegetables to adorn our porch steps. Carving becomes an art form in our household because we have many artists in our family.
This year, I stood in line at the post office after packing two boxes with plenty of newspaper that were being sent to different colleges. My boxes were marked, "Fragile and Perishable!" on every side. As the clerk weighed my parcels, I proceeded to tell her that I was sending pumpkins to two of my children who were away at college, since I knew they wouldn't have occasion to get one for themselves and would appreciate being able to have a remembrance of home in New England. The clerk smiled and I hoped that they would arrive without breaking or rotting first!
Every family can begin their traditions when their children are small, enjoying special times together which will ultimately create fond memories that will be reminisced about in many future years. They'll also pass on family traditions to their own children. Is it time for hot chocolate yet?
Thank you, Dear Lord, for Your many blessings found in nature and for a family in which to enjoy them. Thank you, Dear Lord, for Your love!