“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” —John Donne
Autumn is my favorite season. I love the cooler temperatures, the beautiful colors, smells, foods, sounds… There is not much I do not like about this time of year. Every autumn I post George Eliot’s quote, “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” I take so many pictures of the same things and same places each year. I want to somehow capture the beauty.
Something struck me yesterday as I was eagerly waiting to post the above quote on FB to welcome fall and find my kindred friends, I realized that I am in the autumn of my life. (Warning: One of the other affects of fall is my philosophical thinking kicks into overdrive.) I had not noticed it so much because I have been fully immersed in learning, growing, and embracing my children’s springtime and getting them ready for their summers. I have enjoyed that tremendously. But now they are heading into the Summer of their life. Being in Autumn of my life makes me more a cheerleader for theirs and less of an active participant.
For me, now it is a season of transition. It is a season to be intentional in learning and growing. Raising kids and homeschooling them made this last season automatic for learning and growing. Now I can choose those things. Now I have to choose them or I will stagnate. This newish season is more subdued in its colors. I am learning a new way to look and see, trying new tastes and smelling new smells. I realize how much I have changed and how much freedom I am finding in this season. I do find myself aching and longing for the last season but there is something comforting and hopeful about this new season. Knowing that I am not done growing and learning that there is much more for me to see and learn is exciting. I may take some of the same pictures of the same places but they may look a little different now and there is good to be embraced in that.
“Like autumn, midlife is our season of harvest. These are our peak years when the things we labored over so intensely in young adulthood begin to pay dividends. … It is a season in life for remembering and reflecting, a time to take pleasure in past and present abundance.” -Mike Bellah
Without naval gazing too much, I know that I am changing and some things are dying but there is a new vibrant life growing and beckoning to be explored. The summer heat and hustle have gone but the autumn crispness and refreshment are upon me, literally and figuratively. I am choosing to learn to love this season of life as much as I love this season of the year.