I love autumn. I love the splattering of colors through the trees. I love the crisp air and the falling leaves. I love pulling out my jeans from last year and pulling on my favorite pullover that I haven’t worn all summer. I love knowing that soup and chili season is approaching and that I’ll soon have good reason to bake a loaf of delicious homemade bread.
With autumn, however, comes the beginning of the holidays. I love the holidays. I love thinking of the perfect gift for people. I love the excitement, the anticipation, the creativity that goes into each holiday. Still, life admittedly, can easily get crazy. As the days get shorter, my list of things I need to get done gets longer. Sometimes I feel like I just don’t have time to stop and smell the flowers.
For a few years now, our family has started a new tradition. When the leaves start to change, we make it a priority to either go on a hike or a bike ride and enjoy the beauty of autumn. We plan to stop and enjoy the season. I LOVE this tradition. There’s something about biking through a rainbowed canopy of trees that just takes your breath away. Or hiking in a “bowl of fruit loops” that just makes you want to smile. It seems like all my worries in the world just go by the wayside and I just feel peace. Like God painted this beautiful scene just to bring me serenity in that moment.
I was watching a film the other day in which a father tried desperately to explain to an expecting father the joy of parenthood. He said, “It’s terrible, terrible, terrible, painful…and then it’s great. And then, it’s terrible, terrible, terrible. and then it’s great. And that one great moment makes it all worth it. ” Now, I don’t agree that parenthood is all that terrible and painful (though it can be at times). But I do cherish those moments that make it all worth it. I cherish my kids scrambling up the rocks of the mountain together and laughing against the backdrop of golden trees. My heart seems to leap within me as I watch all five riding up ahead of me in a single file line. I love watching them stop by the wayside to chase the grasshoppers, laughing together. Somehow, our autumn trip always seems to bring it all together for us and gives us the peace we need before the busy holidays hit.
So, I challenge you this week to do something to enjoy the season. Take a hike, have a family picnic at the park, go on a bike ride, read a book on the hammock or just take a stroll through the neighborhood. But, get out there and enjoy the beauty of the season before the leaves fall, the days turn cold, and it’s too late.
I know you all have traditions that make this season peaceful and great. Pass them on! If you’ve got a great tradition, I’d love to hear about it. Until then, Happy Autumn!