I’ve heard numerous people remark that they think this year’s fall colours have been the best they’ve seen in a long time. There’s no doubt – if you live anywhere near where I live, the hues of red and orange and yellow have been breathtaking. It’s one of the many reasons I’m glad to serve where I do.
There’s plenty of science behind why the leaves change colour, but in one sense, I like to think of the beauty of autumn as God’s gift of compensation for the winter that is to come. (I almost wrote “God’s apology”, but I don’t think God needs to apologize for winter. It too, is a season of beauty.) I have friends who live in places where the four seasons of the year do not render the same degree of physical expression as they do in Ontario, and I think it would be hard to live in such climes, especially after having lived my whole life in an area with four distinct seasons.
I have visited places where there seems only to be one season, perhaps with varying degrees of temperature. While there is a certain monotony about these places, there is much beauty and grandeur about them, too. We all have favourite sights and favourite sites: I am awed by the snow-capped Rockies and Selkirks in the west. My friends in Alberta love the deep-red maple trees in Ontario. Others are captivated by the azure and clarity of the Caribbean ocean. It’s all good, and it’s all God’s. “He has made everything beautiful in its time”, wrote the teacher in Ecclesiastes 3.11. And if we will pause to see the beauty in creation, anytime is God’s time for his world to be beautiful.
Whenever people mention to me that they think this has been the prettiest fall they can remember, I respond by saying, “May you say that every year.” By that, I mean, “May the beauty of creation capture your heart every fall!”
I pray that to be true for you, that the beauty of God’s creation will capture your heart – not just in the fall, but in every season of the year, and every season of life.