By Mark Briggs
aybe autumn is called fall because we are hot and sweaty and "fall" into it. Probably not. More likely, it's called fall because the leaves have been brushed with a hint of cold and are beginning to "fall." Regardless, it is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque times of the year. It's a season when trees boast their vibrant colors, from fiery reds and oranges to rich and deep golden yellows. This spectacular mosaic around us eventually becomes a carpet beneath us. The air feels crisp, our thoughts become clear, and seemingly, we are carried away in some sort of euphoria. Nature is the artist as we behold a masterpiece that captures the heart.
Unlike the summers and winters we often refer to as long, fall is indeed short-lived. Yet, this brevity is part of its charm. Fall doesn’t need to linger for months to make an impact. In its brief existence, it manages to leave an indelible mark on our memories. It serves as a reminder that, sometimes, even fleeting moments can be the most beautiful and profound.
Fall signifies a transition from the warmth and abundance of summer to the cold and dormant winter. It’s a bridge between two extremes, a season gently guiding us from one phase of life to another.
Fall is a metaphor for the cycles of life and faith. Just as trees shed their leaves to prepare for new growth in the spring, fall can be a time for self-reflection and spiritual renewal. It’s an opportunity to shed the burdens of the past and prepare the soul for a season of regeneration and growth.
Fall is the beginning of something new. The fallen leaves, once they decompose, provide vital nutrients to the soil, enriching it for the next season of growth. In the same way, the challenges and changes we face in life can be the catalyst for personal growth and transformation. Fall teaches us that there is potential for new beginnings, even in endings.
Solomon said, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” He further states that God “has made everything beautiful in its time…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,11)
Respected monk and writer Thomas Merton says that in all visible things, living and dying, there is a “hidden wholeness.” If we merge Merton’s idea with the Godly wisdom of Solomon, we discover it’s up to us in every season to find the “hidden wholeness.”
God guides the events of our lives, and there is a gift from God in every season. It is left up to us to find the “hidden wholeness.” It doesn’t have to be fall to uncover what might be hidden. In every circumstance and segment of life, we can discover a lesson.
Discovery means learning, and learning often brings joy! Enjoy the season!