The seasonal shift from summer to autumn and into winter is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. Autumn’s changes are at their peak; a release of the old to introduce the new. The time when I’m most content despite all the transition.
I think it’s safe to say that 2020 has brought an overflow of change. If I had a nickel for every time I heard the word “unprecedented” in the last eight months, I’d be rich. It feels a little like the hypnic jerks that startle us awake right before we’re about to fall asleep. (I bet you didn’t know there was a word for those!) We begin to settle into the “new normal,” only to be jostled back into another round of transition that leaves us feeling more uprooted than before.
Change can certainly feel exhausting, especially when unexpected or unwelcome. But then I think about the significant changes we see in autumn. These changes look different every year but are a beautiful sight. A sight that begs us to slow down, reflect, and enjoy our families as cold weather and holidays approach.
“The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let the dead things go.”
I find it interesting that one of the most beautiful times of year is actually when things are dying. The old is passing away, which is sad, but it makes way for the new. A new that is usually more mature and even more fruitful.
If you google the word “autumn,” there’s a lot of talk about the growing cycle, ripeness, and harvest. Scroll just a bit further and you’ll find that “harvest” is usually associated with abundance and prosperity. Even though death comes with harvest, the outcome is provision and sustenance. Ask any farmer and they’ll tell you just how much work goes into yielding an abundant harvest. They’ll also tell you the reality that, at some point, they have to let the changes of nature take their course. These changes are inevitable and farmers have to trust the process.
This gives me a bit of hope. Even with the unexpected and “unprecedented” times of change, we can trust in the certainty of it. Like the seasonal autumn changes, we know that change will come. That change can lead to new, abundant provision. And even with the death and pruning that accompanies it, change can also be really beautiful.
So… maybe change isn’t bad.
Maybe change propels us into a new endeavor we never would’ve ventured into if not for a season of transition. Maybe change gives us a chance to reflect and move on from bad habits or toxic relationships. Or maybe change is simply a chance to realize we’re human. That we all need a bit of grace as we navigate the messy terrain of life, with all its ups and downs—pandemics and all. We are resilient. Hold fast, trust the process, and look for beauty.