Note: This is the eighth essay in the series of “Why We Love Autumn.” I recently asked some friends who love autumn as much as I do to reflect on what made them so excited for autumn to arrive. The answers will be varied and have a different voice each post. Courtney and I have been pals since waaaay back in our Baylor lives of 2001. We also went to seminary together and constantly made people mad. Joy.
I live in Central Texas. We do not get much of an Autumn. Typically it is hot—then it is really cold; the in between lasts for about a month. So since I do not often feel Autumn in the air, it tends to be more of a season that I feel in my being…in my soul. On the first day that cool air parts the curtains of the dreadful 100 degree heat—I step outside and breathe in…deeply. I inhale the cool air and it fills my entire body.
This is really what Autumn is to me…a deep inhale. I walk into the local grocery store and it is stocked with pumpkins, cinnamon sticks and piles of apples. I inhale. I sit down at Starbucks with my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. The steam rises from the cup. It tilt my nose towards the froth and inhale. I open the oven and the smell of freshly baked spice bread tumbles into a sunny Sunday afternoon kitchen….Inhale.
I sit across from a friend who has spilled her disappointments on to the table in front of me. I inhale all of the words floating in between us. They all seem too trite to linger in this space, much less bring comfort.
I sit in a court room next to a foster child. We both keep one eye on the door. Will mom walk in and fight for her? As the minutes tick by on the clock, I inhale.
Relationships crumble, disappointments abound, bad news comes, life just isn’t what we expected. Perhaps I inhale in hopes of storing all of my breath for the season during which I cannot help but hold my breath. In hopeful anticipation that love really does win, and divine flesh dwelt among us—dwells among us…and all is not lost.
Possibly Autumn is the preparation before the season preparation– of Advent. I breathe in. Breathe in. Breathe in. Then…”The thrill of hope. The weary world rejoicing”—I exhale.