These are some of the best days of the year, these autumn days when the colors burst forth so brilliantly in their swan song, before the leaves all fall revealing the trees so barren, before the grand larceny is committed with turned back clocks, robbing us of the exquisite late afternoon light.
On crisp Autumn afternoons, it almost seems as though God’s first call to us is to resist the internal voice that says “get busy! be productive!” and instead get outside and savor the day.And yet, the institutions that shape my life — the church, my son’s school — have revved themselves back up after the summer slowdown and demand action — attention to an endless stream of details. I am, for instance, scurrying about trying to get all the forms filled out that are required for the annual church conference (I’m four days late), but still I know, the crisp colors will only be here so long.
From past experience I know that in short order I will move into what for me is my most trying time of the year. Darkness early, the colors gone, a time to hibernate, just as the mania of Christmas begins to heat up to contradict the hibernation impulse.
How to savor these moments without clutching.
It is like being with someone you love in the awareness that their days are numbered, knowing well enough that you will soon be longing for these precise days, so don’t let them pass without fully claiming the blessing of their presence.