Autumn is my absolute favorite season. Scarlet sunsets, crisp breezes, sweet apples after a frost, and a sudden sweep of golden color through the trees as if God just went after the hills with a paintbrush - even just standing outside breathing in the cold Fall air gives me a thrill.
Most North Dakotans I know see Autumn as the first foreboding step towards winter. To me, it looks a little different.
Why do I look forward to these chilly days just weeks before winter is bound to set in? Let me give you ten reasons why I love Autumn (and an eleventh reason why I am learning to love every season as it comes!).
1. Red plaid blankets and olive green jackets.
Strange selection, I know. But two things that I have always loved to dream of are a thick, red plaid blanket to snuggle under, and a Fallish, olive green jacket. *blushes* I never actually had either of those, they just made me think of my favorite season. Then, this year, one of my best friends presented me with my dream jacket, and my mom was gifted a red plaid blanket.
Needless to say, I love using both.
2. The thrilling sense of change and possibility!
Maybe I am the only one who feels this way, but anytime the season starts to change and a brisk little wind comes rustling through the trees, I get excited for a coming change. Something in the Fall air gives me a thrill full of possibilities and new adventures! Who knows what is waiting just around the bend?
3. Apple orchards are teeming with memories waiting to be made.
Some of my best memories of the Fall season have been made in an apple orchard. Picking buckets full of rosy red apples, eating about a dozen to decide which tree we like best, and exploring the maze of trees makes me smile just thinking about it. The apple orchard our family loves to explore has an old-fashioned, adventurous sort of air to it. It always seems to me like a special little cove that has preserved the laughter and memories of families for decades before us.
4. Corn mazes, hay rides, and all those "childish" delights!
Have you ever played tag in a corn maze? Let me tell you, it is crazy fun. Sometimes it's the little things, like jumping in a pile of leaves or scampering through a corn maze, that really make Autumn fun.
5. Pumpkin spice lattes.
Need I say more? I have actually only have one pumpkin latte this Autumn... but the season just started so I should have plenty of time. ;)
One of my favorite memories is of making a small fire to burn leaves and roast little apples with my siblings. I never enjoy campfires as much as when they are really appreciated. In other words, why have outdoor fires in the summer when you aren't cold?! There is something so fun and special about huddling around a campfire with your family or friends, talking, laughing, or making s'mores (or just eating the chocolate if you're anything like me.)
7. Autumn smells and sounds.
When it comes to Autumn, we seem to talk mostly about the color. A completely different and incredibly important aspect of Fall comes in the form of crunching leaves under boots and warm cinnamon and caramel smells! The sounds of Autumn are so fresh and crisp, and the smells are almost better than Christmas.
8. Autumn is the perfect balance between Summer and Winter.
Which means it is my absolute favorite season for horseback riding! It isn't sweltering hot (and no flies!), or cold enough to freeze your face off in less than five minutes. Fall is the perfect season to go for a trail ride, enjoy a good hard gallop without your horse dripping with sweat or slipping on ice, or simply enjoy the world God created around you.
9. Cozy sweaters.
Have you ever noticed that Fall is the only season when you can snuggle comfortably in a sweater either indoors or out? (That is, if you live in North Dakota) As a dear friend of mine once said about the perfect sweater, "it's like wearing a hug".
10. Autumn is a living, breathing, and breathtaking painting.
Anytime I watch the leaves turn from green to a dazzling array of luscious reds or rich golds and yellows, I am reminded just how creative God is. He didn't have to make the end of summer so beautiful. He could have left it brown, dry and desolate - but He didn't. He created a world that is beautiful in every season.
I know it can be easy to look at Autumn and see only death. It can be a depressing season if you are watching brilliant greens suddenly fade to brown and if you are gazing at the sky to see flocks of geese fleeing south. Obviously, snow and winter are just around the corner. It's as if the world is giving up and hiding away.
But there is something so incredible about the promise of Autumn. In fact, there is something incredible about every season God created.
They exist for a reason.
"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."
God has created a season, a purpose, and a time for everything. With the closing of summer comes the brilliance of Fall, then the falling of snow, and the long days of winter until suddenly, sunshine bursts through and coaxes the world back to life.
He created seasons for you as well. Are you enjoying them as they come, or are you simply waiting for what comes next? Unlike Fall, which comes around every year, the season of life you are in now will only come once. You can never have it back.
Enjoy this season, invest in the people who are in it, love this time you have been given by your Creator, and live to the fullest!