Autumn begs the same questions I have been lately: What’s coming? When? How cold will it be? Am I ready for it?
The landscape radically changes while we await the arrival of longer nights, cooler days and lots and lots of rain.
Red leaves, silver light afternoons, and pumpkins in every niche around town point the way toward Winter.
Soon, the leaves will brown, the pumpkins will be pied, and it will be dark by 4:30. As I look around–as I view my circumstances–I am sure the Unwelcome is on its way and I fear it will be more than I can bear.
This is nonsense.
Red leaves, silver light afternoons, and pumpkins are Autumn amulets that transform the agony of waiting into the joy of anticipation.
They don’t answer the questions Autumn begs. Nothing really can. but they do remind me of the beauty of living the questions, a line I borrowed from Rainier Maria Rilke:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” – Letters to a Young Poet
In this life, we are trapped in the unknowing–in the inability to see around the corner–but that doesn’t have to make us miserable. There is a real pain in waiting for the next thing, in not knowing what it is, but we are Promised that there is life here and now.
Autumn is the slow dying process that prepares for the barrenness of Winter. But it is also the season of great harvest and gratitude.
This is the season where a little bit of the Resurrection breaks through, even in the midst of all the dying.
We keep our eyes open for the Resurrection Red, the Silver Lining, and bounty because its here. It’s been here all along.