I know it's been autumn for three weeks already, but it's really felt like summer. Until recently.
With the wonderfully chilly nights we've had lately, and knowing autumn's first frost is around the corner, I was excited to still find one of late summer's delights. I was watering my mums recently when I noticed some movement amongst the blooms. I looked closely, and then suddenly saw a little (well, actually a fairly big) grasshopper moving along the tops of the flowers.
Evidently, neither the shower nor my excitement bothered him as he stayed pretty much in the same spot until I could get my camera from inside the house. He patiently (or maybe warily) posed as I snapped away, finally sensing, I suppose, that I was no threat and he crawled on to new blooms 'till he eventually disappeared again. I hope he found the water as refreshing as I found the droplets delightful resting on his back and head.
The older I get, it seems the more I notice how amplified everything is in the early weeks of fall. The warmth of the sun seems to caress my skin instead of burning it. The insects have become large and beautiful. The sense of changing weather hangs heavy in the air... Even the sky is bluer.
I find late summer/early fall a season of anticipation. The anticipation of the last cutting of flowers, ...putting the garden to sleep, ...the deep chill that's coming, ...the blazing colors getting ready to burst upon us, ...and the end of the cicadas' songs.
With this autumn, in particular, I am mindful of the season of life I've recently entered. It is an autumn, so to speak. Age-wise, I'm definitely in my autumn season. My chicks are fast flying the coop and I am once again getting my bearings on what a new stage of life means. My bearings have calibrated slowly, but I've recently become free in spirit that I don't have to have all the answers. Now it seems enough to just be asking the right questions.
When looked at in light of what God may have in store for me, this stage of life holds an optimism of perhaps a bursting forth with new vigor - if not physically, certainly spiritually, emotionally, and relationally.
This autumn, perhaps more than in the past, I eagerly anticipate all things colorful and exciting. Yet I daren't wish a moment of today away. I don't wish away the fading flowers... the lingering, lazy bees and wasps... the spiders' webs... In the past I couldn't wait to be done with these things, and have it all cleaned up already. This year I'm noticing them differently. Savoring them.
The anticipation of the full blaze of autumn, every bit as much as the blaze itself, is a lovely time. It's a too-short time.