Splendiferous Fall; Revealing the Beauty Within

The drama of changing seasons can hardly be ignored. Even those who are the busiest or most caught up in distractions or self-absorption take pause, however momentary. Life is transforming before our very eyes. Spring, Summer, and Winter each have plenty to offer, but Fall is the most magnificent. Leaves on hardwood trees make it so of course. When the countryside is dressed in red, green, gold, yellow and brown even the most ordinary places will become breathtaking. Or as my younger daughter, Courtney, said at age five, “It’s Splendiferous”

I've been around. My adolescence was spent near Fort Lauderdale in Hillsboro Beach where there is little that is overtly noticeable in Autumn's arrival or departure besides welcomed cooler temperatures. Instead, it's carried on a gentle evening breeze by Night Blooming Jasmine. I've also lived in North Carolina where people come from all over to be swept away by the grandeur. My childhood in Danville, Illinois had a Fall with its own charm and beauty. We took an annual drive down to Brown County, Indiana to have our socks blown off. But Autumn and "Injun Summer" were spectacular enough. Regardless of where home might have been, the seasons-of-life analogy was not lost on me. As the hours of light become shorter, chlorophyll production slows, and true leaf colors are revealed, it has always seemed obvious that God is sending a love letter about what could be coming next as people age.

The truth is that nothing diminishes as daylight hours become shorter nor are we diminished as we get older. This is evidenced in beautiful colors revealed in the leaves which had been there all along. Likewise, grace and brilliance are exposed as we transition to elderhood. They too have always been there. What is difficult to see while we are young and busy becomes easily visible in later years. Some of this comes from slowing down and some of it is bestowed as wisdom through experience. Now that my own Autumnal Equinox is well astern, floating out in Mother Ocean along with the exuberant energy of my youth, I began to wonder where the splendiferousness might be. But then it became clear. Just like my Autumn's in South Florida, it hides as a subtle insider while blossoming at the edge of night.