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In defense of Fall

I don’t know if it’s just a Houston thing, or if all Westernized culture is becoming lazier, but I feel the need to advocate for a dying construct… Autumn.

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Why’s everyone hatin’ on the Fall?

It seems like the moment the temperature drops, we get all excited about donning scarves and making squash soup and seeing the pumpkins pile up at Methodist churches everywhere… for… …about a minute.  And then we toss it all aside to start singing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas tree” and putting lights up for Christmas.

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What?  Am I the only one left who wants to hear the record scratch and put all the holly jolly on hold?… NOT because I’m a cranky Grinch, but because I love Christmas so much, I want to protect it.

There are two reasons why I think we need to slow down and enjoy the Fall.

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The first is the simple fact that engaging in the rhythm of the seasons is a GOOD thing.

The change in seasons is a sacred shift…
it’s nature’s way of helping us observe and celebrate the passage of time.

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And we need it.

I know that time always feels like an enemy…
bodies getting older and more frail,
our lives passing by – perhaps not looking like we wanted them to –
kids growing up…
…but it’s still an essential part of the human existence.  And it’s one that, if we ignore, will catch us unaware later on – panicked by how much we’ve missed.  It’s a good thing to acknowledge time passing… and the seasons are the perfect accompaniment.

 

The second, and (for me), more important reason we need to linger in the Autumnal delightfulness, is because it is the season of anticipation.  And I LOVE anticipation.  I dare say we need it.

Have you ever had the experience of being madly in love with someone and knowing you’re going to see that person at the end of the day/week/etc. – and having that delicious feeling inside as you get closer and closer to being able to hug and kiss them in person?  The waiting is it’s own brand of pleasure.  Enjoying the build-up is part of the delight!

And waiting for all of the wintery gifts – especially Christmas – is an essential part of the enjoyment.

I adore Christmas.  It is, by far, the best part of the year.  Hands down.  I love everything about it – trees, twinkly lights, Santa, gifts, the music…oh…the music… the food, …and most of all – it is a time when my heart is most soft spiritually and I sit in awe of the fact that the God of the universe loved us enough to condescend and become one of us.  Even if you don’t believe in all of that, surely you can recognize how that idea is attractive… beautiful even.

I love Christmas so much that I don’t even mind the cheesy music they play in stores… I actually enjoy it.  I love the mood that hovers over people from November 29th through dinner on Christmas day.  And it’s because I love it all so much that I want to keep it where it belongs.

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The day after Thanksgiving, I’ll go through the lovely ritual of getting out all my old Christmas albums (and there are some doozies in there that no sane person should listen to without an appropriate amount of eye-rolling and gagging… but I love them because they remind me of Christmases past …and of people I love… and of a season that celebrates life and beauty and Love with a capital “L.”)  I’ll listen to everything from old school Michael W. Smith (yes…cheesy…whatever) to beautifully archaic choral and orchestral arrangements, to modern pop artists’ versions of traditional holiday fare, to schmaltzy Bing Crosby and his cronies, to high church majestically trumpeted renderings of Christmas hymns …and everything in-between.  I’m the girl tuning into the local radio station that plays all Christmas music 24-hrs a day for the whole season.  I’m the girl collecting the excess Christmas tree branches from tree lots to bring the smell of the holiday into her home.  I’m the girl coming up with excuses to plan and attend as many Christmas parties as a body can handle.  I even BAKE at this time of year (and I abhor baking…).

It’s a magical time.

fall 9And to keep it magical – I protect its rightful place in the seasonal rhythm of this life.

Christmas is, for me, the culmination of every good thing, in one scrumptious season.  The word advent actually means ‘the coming,’ or ‘arrival.’
If the Christmas season is the time of arrival, then Fall is the time of waiting for that arrival…
…dwelling in the joyous prospect of what’s to come –
…sitting in the sweet anticipation of all the good things that are just on the horizon.
And enjoying the scarves and squash soup and pumpkin-filled lawns along the way.

So – will you join me?  We only have a week and a half to go before the buzz of Christmas rains down its loud and wonderful chorus over all that we do.
A week and a half to feel – really FEEL – that anticipation …
…to enjoy the fall leaves (or,…if you live in Houston… finding the one or two trees that have actually changed and stare at them for a bit…),
…to wear your brown suede boots,
…to eat and drink up as much Pumpkin spiced everything as you can handle,
…to arrange or paint or just admire the multi-colored and bumpy gourds adorning our supermarkets,
…to give someone you love (maybe your favorite blogger?) a bouquet of Autumn-inspired flowers/berries,
…to relish the crisp air

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…and to know that in a matter of days…

not only will the music that’s been playing since Halloween say so,

but it truly will BE the
“most wonderful time of the year.”

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