This is Kathi again, reflecting some more on my trip to New England with my husband. Our visit happened prior to the significant change in leaves that everyone raves about in New England. We did see some light greens changing to gold but the deep yellows, oranges, reds, and crimsons had not begun - yet. I could picture them in my mind, but they weren't reality - yet.
This color journey was vividly brought to mind this morning as I brushed my shower-wet hair. I saw little glimpses of silver and gray peeking through my blonde-ish brown. I realized that the next season is coming (!) but the colors aren't full-blown yet.
Let's think a little bit about seasons and our mindset toward them...
I recognize that, as I approach my sixties, I am entering the 'fall' of my life. What does that mean?
Spring with its productivity, new life, and anticipation represents my young adult years. Everything was new - first car, first house, first child, first adult crisis, etc. There were buds on the trees but very few leaves.
Summer was my "full-on with life" years. The leaves were fully formed in many areas of my life - family, career, progress toward financial stability, and more. I had more margin to enjoy some sunny days and bask in what was unfolding.
And now fall. For some, the fall season is simply their "pre-winter." They dread fall because it means winter is coming. The cooler days mean snow is coming. The shortening of the days is more depressing than invigorating. They don't want to nestle near a fire or curl up in a sweater. Fall is more bleak than festive.
However, I have always loved fall. It is, in fact, my favorite season of the year. I love the cooler evenings, the conversations held around a bonfire, the excuse to curl up with a good book, and Friday night football. I love the changing leaves. I welcome the next phase, even if it is winter. :)
So, as I look at the silver streaks in my hair, I choose to welcome the fall season of my life. I want to see it marked by nurturing and developing. I want good conversations and a slighty slower speed. I want to cuddle with grandbabies and then send them home. I want the tree to hold steady and strong, even though the leaves are deepening in color and falling to the ground. I count fall as a season in its own rite - not just "pre-winter."
And - I invite you to enjoy the season you are in. Life is short, God is good, and He has a plan and purpose for every single day of your life. Don't rush through spring, wishing for the next phase (more money, more sleep, more margin.) Don't blink and find your summer gone. Be intentional with your families and your purpose and your ministries. Welcome fall - it's beautiful, you know?! And when winter comes, remember there is a purpose and plan for you. Perhaps the symbolic blanket of winter is really more prayer, more wisdom, more blessing in your life.