It's the fall, after months of waiting, For cooler weather, crisp breezes, Crunchy apples, corn stalks and pumpkins, Foliage turning as we're anticipating, Football, bon fires and apple cider. Those leaves keep on turning, They will keep on falling in chillier winds, Until branches are bare, barren, naked, Which will now have strength to bend? With graceful, evergreens peeking in? Now the winter temps have crept in, Cold and dampness announce "I'm here", Snow is swirling, dancing, blowing, Leaves are buried in snowbanks near, Snowmen, snow balls and forts we're seeing. Streets are covered, black ice a danger, It's too cold to play to long outside, Roofs threatened by ice, heavy snows, Chimneys puffing smoke from fires, Hard wood, propane, natural gas. Winter melts and spring is coming, Flowers peeking, buds on branches appearing Sneaks of colors, warm sun, new life, Brand new leaves on branches breathing, Wonder, amazement, hope appears. Warmed air flirts with hidden seeds, Before too long and life has bloomed in, Anticipation of all new starts, Life, reviving, resurrection begins, All that is old is suddenly new again. Summer steps with higher temperatures, Last of baseball hits are echoing, Swimming, zoo trips, vacation Bible schools, All too soon school will be beginning, Air conditioners, ice cream and late movies. All four seasons leaves anticipating, Of what is now and what will be, Bright green, mellowed and yellowed, Life renewing a cycle you can see, Dying, renewing, birthing, life. -----dfav 10/25/2020
Fall arrives in crimson cloak
Her hands hold frost and nip the leaves
Seeds and bulbs pull up their earthy blankets
Apple cider simmers on the stove.
Pumpkins plump become dessert.
God blessed the harvest and gratitude abounds.
Wagons scatters hay coming in from the fields
And prayers are lifted as the church bells peal.
Squirrels and humans gather provisions
Store away walnuts, pecans and sunflower seeds.
Fields are turned for winter respite,
Last of Mama’s canning is finally done.
High school football on Friday nights,
Storm windows replace the window screens
Gutters receive a good out – cleaning
God looks to Earth pleased with what He’s seeing.
Autumn bursts alive in brilliant color
The woods near ’bout a fireworks display.
Plans are made for journeys home this Thanksgiving
Christmas and winter not far away.
Layered clothing and rugged apparel.
Children pray for the first snowfall.
Crackling fires and toasted marshmallows
Sun seems more a faded yellow.
Seasons arrive then slip away
Winter soon will waltz right in
Followed close by Spring then Summer
And God grant us time we’ll see Fall again.
This Autumn night with full new moon
I tuck away in a prayer in solitude.
God grants us days, nights and seasons
And He alone knows His reasons.
The old stone wall stood tall
One of four a home that was
It’s history gives the passer – by
A quiet, gentle, insistent call
“Come home! Come home!”
The roof long gone decades ago
Weather and wear still hardly show
It promises passage to another land
It draws you, calls you, don’t say no,
“Come home! Come home! ”
The questions in your heart rise
Why abandoned does this place be?
It’s stone foundation and walls
Having withstood the winds and sorrows cries.
View through arched window, “Come home”.
The window ledge by breeze swept clean
You lean against it, peer through the canopy
Of crimson leaves a lacy veil
The peaceful treasure gold, bronze, orange is seen
To see this autumn window view “Come home.”
The air invigorates the windows view
Your feet now stand where others stood
Someone who built a home to last
Of them now these walls your only clue,
“Come home each season see them pass.”
The house has stood a test of time
Though roof is gone and none live here still
The window it’s sights longs to share
Seasons passage views so often fine,
You hear the call, “Come home! Stay home!”
Spring and Summer have come and gone,
Fall arrives as harvest comes.
Winter winds will surely blow,
Time, it seems, just carries on.
Routines and ruts a fact of life,
Circles open then close up tight.
A man turns husband a woman his wife,
As a child is born so someone sleeps,
Tears of joy and wails of pain.
We learn this lesson repeatedly
With the sun comes the rain
And with God’s love His discipline.
How swift we are to see the sour.
Forgetting the cream of finer days
We cling to the driftwood of shipwrecked hours.
Our eyes upon some earthly way.
Grains of sand and ticking clocks
Mark a time in God’s own hand
Do you hear the tick-tock-tock
That counts til finished then it stops?
As seasons pass and hours flow
The question is that I must ask
Are you ready to Jesus to truly go?
For time approaches on swift feet.
It can’t be frozen or somehow stopped
Nor tricked or fooled to any extent
Our hearts beat on though well numbered
God Himself will stop our clock.
So listen well to what I say
Don’t let yourself get caught unprepared
God will listen for prayers you pray
As seasons come so will they go.
The “official” start of winter is mid- December, followed quickly by Christmas, upon whose heels tramps the end and beginning of a new year. For many the symbol of the departing year is an old man, usually looking much more worse for the wear than we want. The new year is then symbolized as a newborn baby.
Ah…..New baby, new life, someone has hit the restart button…some even view a new year’s fresh beginning as a “redo”. For them it is a chance to “get it right”. Many spend considerable time and effort analyzing what they’ve done wrong and setting goals or resolutions for “fixing” themselves, their mates, their families, their lives, marriages, careers…even their spiritual lives…their relationships with God.
It seems ironic to me, that we begin a “new year” as the season of winter swings in. New starts seem more symbolically represented in spring. Right? New leaves are sprouting, new flowers are blooming, farmers ready their fields and sow their seeds, birds that flew south for the winter return from where they came, and Easter arrives on the calender. Easter is filled with symbols of new starts, new beginnings. I am sure if I bothered to research who set our calendars, divided the hours, months, days I would see the reasoning. But, for this article it seems a moot point. We observe our calendar’s new year when the earth around us is dormant.
I always think of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 when observing the time the calendar tells me it is a new year.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time to war and a time for peace.”
This year, as I type out the words of my favorite passage of God’s Word, I am thoughtful that even in winter, our lives go on. Unlike seeds that are dormant in the ground or animals that hibernate so that they slow down or arrest their growth, our bodies keep growing and dying. Our hearts fall in love and they break. Every action, word, thought has a light and a dark period.
The calendar doesn’t have to dictate our new year, our new start, our season or activity. For me this is both a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to speak and a time to be silent…
I pray it is the same for you. As 2012 ends, 2013 begins and we are who we are and we are in whatever season God has lead us to. Perhaps right now I have more to mourn and weep over than to dance and laugh about. Perhaps I have a lot to speak about or to be silent about. This is the time to which God has called me. Let it be!
Happy New Year, whether you are preparing for spring and dormant for a while, or bursting with fresh air to start anew, harvesting the fruits of your labors in the crisp fall air or preparing for the cold weather ahead, whatever your season, God is as near as you invite Him to be. God bless.