Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Exquisite Gifts of Autumn



Change happens in an instant.

That split second stroke of a pen.  A clock's steady tick-tock.  The shrill, heart-stopping ring of the phone in the middle of the night.  A calendar page flipped.  That long-dreaded farewell. 

But transitions? 

These steady visitors to our lives, so deeply yearned for or completely unbidden, can linger on.  And on.

We've all experienced those seasons that range from mildly discombobulating all the way up to the numbing, excruciating grief of a severed relationship, a death, an abandoning.  A financial upheaval, a health crisis.  A betrayal, a relocation, a denial. 

And the endless waiting spaces in the midst of it all that can leave us a little worse for wear.




And then there are the transitions that breathe fresh life, that kick off brand-new routines, that open doors to long dreamed of opportunities that wait around the next corner.  These are the graces that let you know that the earth keeps spinning, that life goes on, that all will be well.

We're experiencing it here, now.  It starts when we awake.  Instead of throwing off the covers, we reach to pull them up closer and linger in the cozy overnight cocoon we've created for ourselves ... even as we vow to dig those gently fraying flannel sheets out of the back of the closet and get them tucked over and on to the awaiting mattress.

We start our days by donning the worn, warm robe and wonderfully fleecy socks instead of a tee-shirt and shorts.  And when we stumble to the kitchen, we grab a favorite mug and brew a 'hot cuppa,' rather than reach for a glass to fill with icy cold juice.




As we prepare for the day, we hear the engines of school buses passing by instead of the fan's endless whirring or the air conditioner's incessant hum.  We leave the oven door open after pulling the golden blueberry muffins out, just to get a bit more warm air in the room.  And when we head out the door, we grab a scarf or a sweatshirt, just in case.

Classes and groups, clubs and meetings start anew.  Schedules emerge and seem to take on a life of their own. The calendar fills ... to overflowing if we just can't say 'no, thanks.'  And we know, for sure, that the lazy days of summer have become a distant memory.




We dig out the crockpot instead of lighting up the grill.  Candlelight emerges once again, starting at suppertime and soothing us with its warm glow and gentle fragrance as the coolness of evening descends and another day comes to a close.

And as we chat back and forth, catching up with the day's details, we realize that our nightcaps have morphed from ice cream sundaes into steaming mugs of hot cocoa with whipped cream on top ... as we hunker under an old quilt or two.  For it's way too early in the season to turn the heat on.

I don't know about you, but I've been through lots of transitions that I never want to experience again.  But autumn's gentle rhythm, its compelling rhyme, its steadying cadence, its awaiting invitations?

I'm leaning right into it all.




And I'm comforted by this truth.  That when {not if} the transitions come that leave me gasping for my next breath, I will be held and comforted and strengthened. 

Because He never changes.

And that, my friend, is good enough for me.



*

adapted

*

visiting with
  Holley & The Loft

62 comments:

  1. yes, time and tide waits for no one... enjoy this season, Linda!

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    1. And I can't wait to see how you share springtime in your neck of the woods, Jandi!

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  2. This goes in the top 5 of your posts! Beautiful! Meanwhile--it will be 99 here today and tomorrow with a gradual cooling down to 90 on Sunday. We are still in the stranglehold of summer in the South--SIGH! Looking forward to a transition--someday!
    Blessings!

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    1. Ah ... late summertime in Texas!

      AARRGGHH!

      But it won't be long til we'll ALL want to be doing life with you down there ...

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  3. Hi Linda! Just like Lulu, transition to fall seems weeks away. It's going to be in the 80's today, and then all week.
    But I do love fall, it's my favorite season. The smells, the colors, the food...it all speaks. Honestly, it's been almost too hot for candlelight on my porch, so I'll look forward to getting back to that again. Keep leaning in sister. I'll catch up in a bit!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Yep, I hear you, Ceil. Guess who's running their air conditioner in New England today?!

      Go figure, huh?

      Like every other transition, ya' just don't know what's around the next corner ...

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  4. Your description of the transition to autumn makes it sound so lovely and peaceful. And there's also peace in the reminder that even in the more difficult transitions God is still the same.

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    1. I am so grateful He never changes like shifting shadows, falling leaves, and the weather forecast {which, by the way, is NEVER accurate around here.}

      ;-}

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  5. Love this talk of transition! It's coming up on my favorite time of year - because I love hunkering down and all things cozy!

    You are so right though, even when unpleasant transitions come, we still can run to the One who never changes. There is comfort in that thought.

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    1. Comfort and joy awaits with Him ...

      And yes, I'm with you, Jerralea ... this is my favorite time of year. Hands down!

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  6. Your autumn blog is just lovely and so warmish-feeling.

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    1. Too bad the 86% humidity today leaves us feeling like we're right smack dab in the middle of summertime!

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  7. Oh, I do love autumn, and, like you, it moves me to haul out the candles and the fall colored table cloths and napkins and to enjoy the transition into the chilly and the dark. In fact, I noticed this morning that it was still fully dark when I got up at 5:00, and I thought, "When did that happen?"

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    1. Us New Englanders got to stick together during these weird seasonal transitions. I'm sure you could teach me a thing or two since I'm a newbie around here!

      ;-}

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  8. so am i. while I don't look forward to the bitter cold winters and the shorter days, especailly the shorter days. I do look forward to the colors of the leaves, soups and baking, roasting marshmallows and hot coco

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    1. Oh yes, Hena! All that comfort food awaits!

      Yum ...

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  9. I'm one that has to be dragged out of summer kicking and screaming. But this segment almost made me long for Autumn...........almost........I'm working on it.........

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    1. I hear ya', Val ... and hope you're doing well in the process.

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  10. Ah, love this luscious picture painted by your words brings warmth to my heart and a smile to my face. I am anticipating the arrival of fall and hope it will show up here eventually. Our days in Ohio remain in the upper 70's and low to mid 80's which is a bit unusual for mid-September, but we miss longer evenings reading on the deck as the sun fades faster and the early mornings are cooler. This particular seasonal transition is my favorite and I anticipate it every year even as I anticipate a trip to Vermont next month with hope of hitting it with some peak autumn foliage. Blessed day and love to you, my friend!

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    1. Yes, yes. I'm missing the evening's light, too. We just got back from an after supper drive to the beach ... in the dark.

      I can't wait to hear about Vermont. It's not all that far from here, yet its beauties are yet to be explored!

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  11. What beautiful words here, Linda, that comfort me and remind me of the beauty and security of changing seasons. Fall starts late here, so it's still pretty hot many days, but I"m looking forward to these changes!

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    1. Hi Betsy! I love your reminder that there's not just beauty, but security in this changing of the seasons. You've given me cause for pause with your wise words this morning and I thank you ...

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  12. I'm so grateful, too, that God never changes. We need something that is constant! And what greater than the Lord of heaven and earth! Thanks for getting me excited about fall, Linda. :) I do love summer, but fall has its beauties for sure.

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    1. Yep, every season has its gifts, its strong points, its pleasures! And that we'll need to remind ourselves when the north winds blow and the temps plummet ...

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  13. "He never changes." Amen to that! What a solid rock to stand on, no shifting sand here. Loved the relaxing visit here today, Linda. Enjoy the transition into fall and winter, my friend.

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    1. Thanks for hanging out a bit with me today, friend! It's always good to have you here ...

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  14. I think it is okay to turn the heat on, especially my seat warmers in my vehicle! Fall is my favourite season, and I feel though I am letting it pass by without really enjoying it's flavours. I think back to my season's of transitions and how I fought through them, not always gracefully but see now the reason for them. And how they even increased my faith, joy, and peace.

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    1. Oh ... seat warmers! I could get into that, for sure ... in a couple of months.

      And, Lynn, thanks for that gentle reminder that God often gifts us with sweet wisdom and grace to look back and see how the difficult passages left us with the most luscious fruit.

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  15. You make fall sound so cozy, Linda. :) And blueberry muffins? Yum. I haven't had them for a while. It's so comforting to know that even in difficult transitions in life, our God never changes.

    I have been thinking about you and your family. I just finished the new book out of a series I think your family would enjoy. It's by Kelly Irvin - The Amish of Bee County. The Beekeeper's Son, The Bishop's Son, and The Saddle Maker's Son. I really love this series as it deals with acceptance and love. In the last one, Rebekah finds two homeless children in their shack. Anyway, each one is such a beautiful story. Another one is Jennifer Beckstrand's series of The Matchmaker of Huckleberry Hill. This series gave me many smiles as a Grandma becomes a matchmaker for many of her grandchildren. There are 6 books in that one. As soon as I finish the pile of books I have from the library, I hope to find more by Suzanne Fisher. :) Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. I'm not too sure what my grandkiddos would think of me in that matchmaker role ... fortunately that's still many years away {although I do have the loveliest of 13 year olds!}

      I'll pass on your recommendations, Trudy. Looks fun!

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  16. Thank you for pulling me into the slow down rhythm of Fall. It is too hot here still to fully embrace this with temps in the high 80s today. Ugh! But the transition into a new season brings such hope. As we both have experienced deep loss and periods of waiting it sounds like fall is just what we need to move forward in hope. Beautiful offering today!

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    1. I like how you put that, Mary. The 'slow down rhythm of Fall.' And yes, this week has brought lots of humidity so the timing of this post could have waited another week for sure.

      ;-{

      Meanwhile, I'm with you. Hope does not disappoint ... and causes us to lean forward into a season of healing, joy, and productivity. The milestones you and I have shared since we met certainly have aligned ... and allowed us to support each other steadfastly.

      I am so grateful for that gift ...

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  17. Linda, your words make me long for fall's arrival as I listen to the ac's hum. It takes a while for the cooler air to arrive in Florida, but that won't stop me from grabbing a pumpkin spice latte. : )
    I love that though seasons change our God remains the same!

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    1. You know it's fall when pumpkin-anything makes it's arrival! Enjoy those warm days, friend ... and take an extra swim somewhere for me!

      ;-}

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  18. So well written, Linda. I identify with it all. I started transitioning - a bit stubbornly, as is my way - but now gather the season close to my soul. I suppose I'm nesting a bit and gathering a bit just as the animals do. Feels good. Comforting in its way. My latest candle scent is, appropriately, apple pie. What do you have burning right now?

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    1. Yes, please, to nesting. There's something about gathering cozy possessions around ourselves, isn't there.

      And my candle of the moment? 'Birthday Cake' with layers of chocolate, vanilla, and something warm and sweet, burns brightly these evenings during supper.

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  19. Love this read, Linda! It flows beautifully and had me at every line. I too, love autumn all the way to to the last crunchy fallen leaf tip. Thanks for these lovely words and a reminder today that He will always be faithful no matter what changes may come. Your neighbor @ Holly's today~

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  20. I am looking forward to this transition as it has still been 90 here. I love the crisp feeling in the air as we take a walk after dinner. :)

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    1. Yep, this is the best season for walking, isn't it?

      ;-}

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  21. Linda,
    You paint such lovely pictures with your words. I was drawn right into the warmth of your heart and can so relate with much that you shared. Thankful for this wonder filled time of year - it is my favorite! I remember at my first job a man telling me that if you don't like something, it will change. I too, am leaning into the transitions and finding the peace and joy of JESUS. Thankful that HE never changes. Hallelujah!

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    1. I so embrace what you've written, Lora. I get the greatest comfort and peace from claiming gratitude that Jesus never changes! In the midst of the craziness life offers, it's just the most calming, recalibrating, truth ...

      Thanks for dropping in this morning. You've blessed me!

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  22. Living here in Florida makes me those beautiful days of fall. My favorite colors too. Will transition to cooler weather here too and enjoying it. Golf weather! Thanks for sharing. Chris

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    1. Enjoy that golf course, friend! Maybe I'll do some mini-golf this weekend ...

      ;-}

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  23. Linda,
    What a stunning photo of the red leaves! And I have to tell you that I appreciated this ode to autumn even though one of my recent posts was how I don't care for this season you extol! :)

    Everything you write about sounds so lovely during this season of transition because when we go through those changes, we have to find the lovely, don't we? Otherwise it overwhelms us. You've convinced me -- fall does have its pleasures and sipping coffee on a cool night is one of them! :) Great and thoughtful post!

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    1. Yes, a beautiful tree it was at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY a few years back. Those limbs almost touched the ground. It was a weird but beautiful sight.

      And yes, let's hear it for something mulled and warm on these coolish evenings ...

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  24. Your words have captured autumn so well, my friend. I'm not sure when I fell in love with her treasures, but after the long TX summers, she is welcome. Have a blessed week!

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    1. I hear your Texas summers linger long, friend ... but have no fear. Winter will arrive.

      ;-{

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  25. This post was so soothing to read. I always love descriptions. Especially that involve the senses. This was lovely.
    I could see and taste and feel it all
    And I like you don't appteciate some transitions but I so love autumn. Thanks for this.

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    1. Thanks, Summer! I'm glad I could take you there, even for just a bit.

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  26. You write with an intensity that can be felt and heard deep in my heart! I was nodding my head yes to snuggling under the covers, leaving the oven door open, and grabbing fleece as we run out the door, lol! The transition of fall is always a joyful one :)

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  27. We've just transitioned to another state but your beautiful words remind me of the beauty of the New England fall.

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    1. Rachel, I'm so glad you're here today! I'm wondering if I was coming to New England right around the time you were leaving ...

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  28. Linda, the last few weeks it has been "10-15 degrees hotter than normal" around here and I am so, so, SO ready for fall temps! I need to sleep with the window open and a 55-degree breeze blowing over me while Randy shivers next to me. All the lovely things you wrote about are just so much better when the temperature is right. :-) Seriously, though, the truth that God never changes does the same for me as it does for you. Strengthens and comforts. Happy fall, my friend!

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    1. I hear ya' ... it's been summertime once again this week here as well, Lois. Even as we speak, I'm hanging out in shorts and a tee-shirt, not huddled under a quilt.

      Go figure, huh?

      ;-}

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  29. YES!
    And when I smell "those autumn scents" and feel the chill in the air the thought that comes to mind is "gentle warning." These in-between seasons are such a gift.

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    1. Oh ... I love how your sweet smiling face is popping up here and there today!

      What a lovely way to start my day!

      I hope yours soars, friend ...

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  30. Your writing is so refreshing. I want to come over there right and "spend time with you in the glow of Autumn.". Thank you for the wonderful gift of letting us see the world through your eyes - your pen. You're a blessing.

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    1. You've refreshed me ... and encouraged my heart today, Christine.

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  31. Linda, THIS! This is wonderful and beautiful and warm and inviting. I loved reading every word of it and am so glad you linked it today at The Loft. It blessed my heart so much!

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    1. Warm and inviting. Yes! That's this season, Leah. And that's what I want this space to be, too. Thank you for hearing my heart ...

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda