I finally recaptured what autumn meant when I was growing up.
Posted in , Sep 15, 2011
"There she shall respond as in the days of her youth..." -Hosea 2:15 (NRSV)
I was an autumn equinox baby; when I was young, the end of summer reminded me that I had a birthday coming.
I grew up in Pennsylvania, where autumn was an occasion. We could watch the leaves change color, feel the crispness in the air and watch the markets begin selling school supplies, pumpkins, gourds and ears of colored horse corn.
My husband, Keith, and I lived in Los Angeles for so long that I forgot those things. Perhaps it would have been painful to think I was missing them. Autumn was so like the other seasons that my birthday’s arrival always surprised me, especially as I grew older and birthdays seemed less important. Besides, Southern California was deeply enamored of youth, so birthdays were inconvenient reminders of aging.
Our move to Washington State brought back the seasons, and I recaptured what autumn had meant all the time I was growing up. The bright leaf colors against the dark green of the pines, spruce and cedar brought back memories. Honeycrisp apples showed up on the supermarket shelves, crisp and tart-sweet rather than mealy-fleshed and flavor-challenged.
The pumpkins and squashes were grown down the road, not hundreds of miles away. The gutters needed cleaning out in preparation for the rain. Like the squirrels, we put in supplies of food; we had the heater checked. We were all lining our nests.
My birthday became an occasion again. And I saw that it had less to do with growing older than with celebrating life.
Thank You, Lord, for showing me that autumn can be a time of brightness and birth.