The first day of September. Crisp mornings as the sun begins to rise. Excitement and anticipation as football season begins. The feeling of drinking your first pumpkin cream cold brew of the season. Long conversations over hot coffee. The last warm sunny days before the rain and wind come. The feeling of fall in the air.
Growing up, fall was never a favorite time of year for me. With the start of school, busyness and chaos surrounded me this time of year. I never knew what it meant to anticipate fall. The crunching leaves. The changing colors. The feeling of joy in the air. There was always some excitement in seeing pumpkin patches and in planning your Halloween costume, but I never truly understood what it meant to anticipate the fall season. After leaving college many years ago, I learned quickly that as an adult, the first day of September was a day to look forward to. While the fall season does not technically start till September 22nd (per the calendar), in most of our hearts, we feel Autumn begin on this lovely September 1st morning.
What a beautiful thing to appreciate the simplicity and joy that the changing of seasons brings us. Fall signifies thankfulness and gratefulness. A time to appreciate the small details and joys in life. To smell the crisp air and bonfire nights. To see the leaves falling and feel the rush of the wind through our hair. To hear the crunching of leaves as we walk on cool mornings. To hear the laughter of friends and family gathered around dining tables in fellowship. The reminder that the greenery slowly dying away is making room for new life and growth.
So here I sit on September 1st, with my apartment already decorated, having enjoyed several pumpkin drinks and treats earlier in the week, with joy and anticipation in my heart of the season to come and the season that is. A season to build friendships. A season to slow down. A season to appreciate the small things, the evening walks with my husband, the changing temperatures on my runs, the festive cookies and treats, the added spice to my coffee, and all the seemingly small details. A challenge to go against culture, to stop the hustle and bustle, to find true peace in stillness.
After what I would easily define as a chaotic summer, I feel every part of my soul and body craving this season. Yearning for the slowing down, the quiet moments, the stillness, the simplicity. I have found in the last couple of months my body running faster than my heart and mind can keep up with. Life this summer felt like it passed by in mere seconds. And all I want in autumn is to savor every moment. To not let the days and night pass me so quickly by. To make memories in each day. To be present. To appreciate my life in the good moments and the bad. To give and give generously. To feel my soul and heart come alive.
While yes, on this first day of September it may just feel like an average Wednesday, it could also be the start of a beautiful, transforming season. That while the leaves change to burnt oranges and reds and the grass starts to wither, God is working in our hearts and transforming us from apathetic to passionate, from burnt out to fulfilled and full of life and joy, from hurting and broken to mended and whole. As easy as God can change the seasons and tell the waves to part, so easily can He awaken our bodies and soul. And as we find ourselves surrounded by sickness and death, by sadness and news of destruction and persecution, by fear of what the next year could look like, may we remember that God is working in any and every season. Just as we know the leaves will fall off the trees and bring new life and growth in the spring, may we remember that God uses the hard seasons of our life to bury seeds for growth. That He is planting a work in you. And that just as long as the seasons of hardship can seem, so long we may need to wait for the harvest. That eventually winter will come for us all, and that we can rest in knowing our eternity is not here on this ever-changing earth but in Heaven. In the uncertainty, He is teaching us to rely and depend even more on Him.
So while you may feel lonely, burnt out, unfulfilled, scared, anxious, unsure, or lost, may Autumn and this first day of September be a reminder of the seeds God is planting in you and of the harvest to come. What an incredible God we get to serve, that while He can accomplish things in seconds, He chooses to take His time. That we can cling to His promises and faithfulness. So today I sit in joy of the Autumn season that awaits us in September. And I am praying for you to see the beauty and reminder of God’s faithfulness as this season begins to pass us by.
Here’s to you fall. May you bring simplicity and joy. Thankfulness and peace. Harvest and fruit.