It’s officially fall up here. The air is sweeter. The pumpkin beer is on tap. The leaves are changing. And my sitcoms have finally started back up. It’s fall all right.
I have this weird tension in my life where I feel like I am either an 8 or 80-year-old. I shoot Nerf darts at my friends, but I also love wearing my cardigan and smoking a pipe. Along with my 80-year-old side, I get so excited any time the leaves change or come back. Like seriously-how-is-everyone-else-not-as-excited-as-me-right-now excited. Growing up in Florida, I never really got to experience the change of all four seasons or witness how beautiful the changing October leaves are. I used to wonder why anyone would live anywhere else besides Florida, and then I experienced my first season of fall and thought, “Oh, ok. This is why.”
I was walking outside today and just admiring the beauty of the changing leaves. I started thinking about how amazing it is that trees are on some sort of instinctual timer and they just start this leave changing process. There’s no starting gunshot. There’s no outside help. They just change.
All of nature has this power. Nature just does what it’s supposed to do; a process set in motion long ago. Bears don’t go to bear college where they learn about the importance of hibernating; they just go to sleep. Bees don’t have to get certified in making honey; they just get to work. Water flows out of springs and into the ocean just because it does.
I started wondering how humans got so out of whack with some of the processes that were meant to occur naturally in our lives. We don’t really just roll with the processes of life anymore. We really can’t afford to. We all have that hippie friend that somehow just exists, and we all think he’s crazy, but maybe he’s getting a few things right.
Nature doesn’t stand with its fists in the air to God about how seasons are changing things up. They just change with it. I fear that I have lost many of the parts of nature in me. I fear I have traded some of the natural processes of my life that I am meant to just go with for feelings of worry and unnecessary preparation. I spend my time complaining to God instead of flowing with the seasons of my life. And truthfully, they are seasons that are going to go ahead and change me whether I want them to or not.
I don’t think we all need to be drifters, but maybe we are having such a hard time because we don’t drift easily enough. It hurts when you are anchored to the ground and the current is trying to move you to somewhere new. It hurts when it’s time to move and you won’t let yourself be moved.
I don’t think that we all need to be cavemen or living Little House on the Prairie style. We don’t even need to be like The Waltons. (My mom used to make me watch that show with her. So boring.) I think it’s good to do well in your work and in various areas of life where you have opportunities. But if we have lost our freedom to move with the seasons then we’ve lost something of ourselves that we were never meant to lose.
I’ve been thinking about in Genesis 1 when God creates man after everything else. The Bible says in verse 31, “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” God created man and we was very good. Naked. Broke. No possessions. Just as he was, he was very good.
If you know you’ve already been made well from your very natural start, it can change how you continue to live. I want us all to do well. I want us to make more money. I want us to do greater good in our communities. But I also want us to know that all of this is temporary. The places we live today may not stay the same in a year from now, and we need to be ok with that. The views we held close to us ten years ago may not be the same as they are not, and that doesn’t mean we’ve compromised.
Life pulls us and stretches us, and God has made us good enough to move with it. What of our original nature in us have we tried to change? What titles or possessions have we decided to hunt down in exchange for what makes us come alive? What have we been fighting off that we’re really just scared to move forward with?
This is probably my most hippie sounding post ever, and I guess I’m all right with that. Maybe I need a little more communion with nature these days. There are few sights more beautiful than the changing autumn leaves. And just as their change is beautiful, I believe ours will be as well. Nature doesn’t put its fists up. Maybe it’s time we put ours down.