"Oh, look," I said, sometime in August. "The trees are starting to turn colors."
"Don't tell me that," my husband said somewhat disgustedly. "It's still summer, it's not supposed to be fall yet."
Because we know what fall means. It means winter is coming. And winter in Minnesota is an interminably cold hard thing to be endured.
Like Paul Revere, Autumn rides through town at a gallop shouting "Winter is coming! Winter is coming!" without slowing down to visit a while.
Nevertheless, I love autumn.
I love the crisp chill in the evening air, so refreshing after summer's hot, humid nights.
I love that I can wear long sleeves again, comfortably. Summer is unmerciful with it's heat, making me bare my middle-aged limbs to obtain some measure of comfort. Autumn is kinder to me, allowing me to save face and limbs.
I love the excitement of a new school year and new experiences.
I love Friday night varsity football games. Especially the electricity in the stands for the first game of the year when the hopes of a winning record are still as palpable as the seniors' intentions to rule the school.
I love the smell of orange pumpkin pie spice scented candles flickering on table tops. The temperatures may drop and the days may grow dark, but inside the sight and scent of autumn candles invite you to curl up and get cozy. Read a book. Talk a while. Sip something warm.
I love the anticipation that autumn brings of the holidays to come. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, and I love giving thanks and giving gifts.
I love the trick-or-treaters. I love seeing their faces when I open the door for them dressed up in my own costume. But I do not love the candy. That I do not love. Except for the Twizzlers. I love those.
For a few weeks in autumn, before the west wind blows, I love pulling out of my driveway and seeing a golden canopy over my head. And looking down to find brightly colored leaves, like gemstones at my feet.
I love the memories that I have of searching for red maple leaf treasures with my children when they were still young enough to be entertained by searching for leaves of a certain color.
The splendor of autumn is such a brilliant short lived thing. The bright colors quickly lost, leaving bare branches silhouetted against the cold sky. They remind me of the stark truth that my life here is fleeting.
There is beauty even in that. In knowing my place. Autumn is the time of full maturity. Of decline. And yet, there is hope.
I am reminded to embrace the beauty of the difficult seasons in life. Soon winter will cover the barren fields with beautiful blankets of delicate grace. Underneath the cover of snow, unseen, God is at work. To me, it is a picture of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is the good news of the gospel. There is new life, abundantly.
I love autumn for reminding me of that.