“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth. Before Kit’s eyes a miracle took place, for which she was totally unprepared. She stood in the doorway of her uncle’s house and held her breath with wonder. The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her. The dried brown leaves crackled beneath her feet and gave off a delicious smoky fragrance. No one had ever told her about autumn in New England. The excitement of it beat in her blood. Every morning she woke with a new confidence and buoyancy she could not explain. In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.”
I love this passage from the book, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Her words paint such vivid imagery and even though I re-read this favorite from my childhood back in the midst of summer, I could easily smell and taste and feel the October day described here. Autumn makes me feel like a kid again. Half of my growing up years were spent surrounded by palm trees and sand and sunshine. We didn’t have big oaks and maples that turned brilliant shades of reds and yellows. We didn’t have chilly days and the smell of chimneys and falling leaves and fields of pumpkins. I missed out on those experiences at an impressionable time in my life and so now I marvel in all of it.
October is a time of change. It’s in the air; you can feel it. The scratch, scratch, scratch of the fallen leaves tumbling across the sidewalk. The sun dips lower in the sky. The wind blows differently. The air has an expectancy to it, like it holds a secret of what’s yet to come. In my corner of the world, every day in October is different. Just last weekend, I was hauling out the summer wardrobe again – – flip flops, shorts, suntan lotion – – and wishing that the pool was open. Within 24 hours, I was sporting boots, a sweater, and a jacket. I love that this time of year is always changing and takes unexpected turns. Such it is with my faith journey right now. My life mirrors the change of seasons. The dropping of old tired leaves – – baggage, obsessive thoughts, unhappiness – – and the transition into a new ‘season’ in my life, one filled with joy and expectancy and discernment and unparalleled trust in God.
I feel like I’m somehow new, different. Like I’ve shed off layers of brokenness and unhappiness over the past few months that I didn’t even know were there. I wasn’t truly in touch with who I am because I was so distracted and focused on what I wanted, not living into what God had already blessed me with. I made the distractions my priority and those barriers touched every aspect of my life. I am now in a season of change, living into the joy of who I am in this moment. I’m living into my authentic self, free from trying to make something work with a guy who isn’t interested in me. Free from societal pressures that I should be married with children by now. Free from living a life bound by comfort and routine and sameness. Free to explore new possibilities. Free to be me, to be filled with God’s unending joy and His awesome plans for me in this very moment. There’s an excitement in my life and an expectancy in my faith that is thrilling. I told a friend that I feel like a feather and that I’m floating and free and being carried about by the Holy Spirit. I don’t know where I’ll land. For now, I’m enjoying the freedom in the journey, of the unexpected experiences I’m entering into.
I feel the Holy Spirit moving in and through my life, especially in those areas where I have become the most comfortable. This stirring is a chance to reflect on who I am and where I am. Although I may or may not physically move somewhere new – – a new job or a different church or somewhere else to live – – the act of reflecting is, in and of itself, a mode for change, a period of growth, a time to move forward in perspective and grow in my faith. I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on where I am now and discern my time in this place. As Ms. Speare so eloquently states, “In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.“
It really doesn’t take much to bring a great big smile to my face. I am not a ‘gifts’ girl. That is, I don’t like people to lavish me with gifts or give me stuff. The gift to me is spending time with the person; it’s their friendship, not another chotchke to put in my living room. But, a meaningful, spontaneous gift . . . one that is customized just for me, that the person knows I will love and appreciate, those gifts are awesome! They make my entire day. So, imagine my joy when someone at work arrived last week with a pumpkin spice latte just for me . . . just because. She must have known I was unable to stop for one, thought about it after getting to work, and longed to have that precious taste of fall to start my morning. It was an extra-special gift that tasted far better than if I had bought it for myself.
Hello, My Name is . . .
I agree with my sister that the heyday of Contemporary Christian music was over a decade ago. So today, even though I don’t latch on to as many songs in this genre as I used to, a song will come along every once in awhile and grab ahold of me. Right now, it’s this song by the brilliant Matthew West. Simplistic, relatable, and yet so profound.
WARNING: You WILL get the tune and lyrics stuck in your head ALL DAY LONG after listening to it. Enjoy!
I am not a fragrance person. I don’t burn candles year-round or try out different perfumes or use air fresheners in my house or car. But, I do have two huge exceptions. My fall and Christmas candles MUST be from Yankee Candle and MUST each be a specific scent that screams the season for me when I smell them. For fall, I always burn Harvest from Yankee Candle. Now there are impostors . . . those with similar names or colors, but they are not the same. There is only one original. The arrival of fall in my house is not dictated by a date on the calendar. Fall has officially arrived when I’ve purchased my new 22oz Harvest jar for the season. Fall is here!
I was blessed with several phone conversations over the last week. With friends; with my mom. I’m not much of a phone talker, but I counted each of these conversations as such a blessing. To catch up and share and laugh and listen. I don’t always make time for these precious conversations, but this week reminded me of the simple, joy-filled act of reaching out to dear ones, near and far.
I went to the mountains a couple of weekends ago. I thought we may have been too early for apple season, but to my surprise, the apples were plentiful in close to a dozen varieties.
There’s only one kind of apple I have my eye on each fall, and it’s the honey crisps. I eat an apple a day year-round, but there’s something about the sweet juiciness of honey crisps that makes this variety stand out among the rest. Some friends and I bought an entire bushel to split between us. I’ll be enjoying these for many weeks to come.