Welcoming autumn

Autumn declares its arrival to all five of our senses. We detect it first when we see the first muted blush appear on the lush green trees of summer as we drive on the Interstate near our home and when we feel a slight chill in the air as we step outside to pick up the morning newspapers in our driveway. We know it is here.

Pumpkins appear in displays outside supermarkets, and foods infused with their flavor show up on store shelves and restaurant menus. Before we know it, we will be roasting turkeys and serving big meals to our family and friends. Leaves litter our yards and begin to clog our gutters. The roar of leaf blowers shatters our peace and quiet.

Sounds and sights of football dominates television and radio as the baseball season, the last vestige of summer, celebrates its champions then ends quietly. The scent of burning leaves lives in the memories of childhood and youth for most of us. I miss that.

For most of my life I have dreaded the coming of fall. To me it represents the loss of summer, my favorite time of year. I hate to see trees shedding their green, turning brown, gray and bare. The inevitable arrival of colder temperatures, then eventually snow and ice troubles me. Cold bothers my arthritis. Warm weather, even when it is hot, is much more comfortable to me. Others feel differently, I realize. Lately, though, I sense a change in my attitude. Fall always brings a fresh, new academic year and a new season of church music and uplifting activities. Fall offers much to anticipate and to dive into joyfully. Its arrival used to make me sad. Now it lifts my spirits.

I no longer dread this inevitable change in season because increasingly I have come to appreciate all that it offers, particularly the time I get to continue spending on this earth. A new season awaits, and I welcome every day of it with gratitude.

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