Monday, October 24, 2005

Autumn, Nature, and the Changing of the Seasons

Autumn is my favorite season of the year. There are so many things I love about fall: a light breeze tickling my face, the crisp, invigorating air, the sound of leaves crunching beneath my feet, the beauty of autumn colors as a vastness of greenery is turned into a pallet of orange, red, and yellow. Of course that deliciously light breeze is liable to whip into a gust, leaving my formerly orderly hair flying. . .

Autumn is such an invigorating season, especially in Georgia after a long, hot, humid summer. I avoid the outdoors during the summer in Georgia because of the stifling weather and the ever-present sun - after all, I must keep up my ghostly-pale complexion ;). I am going to have great skin when I'm 50 and everyone else my age is all wrinkly and leathery. I've offered to deliver an untold-number of eulogies for my friends when they die of skin cancer, leaving their poor spouses with several little ones to raise alone. But I digress. . .

The change in weather is usually rather sudden here in Georgia. It will be stiflingly hot the week before and the days leading up to the Autumnal Equinox and then, whammo! On that day, or perhaps a day or two before, all of a sudden the air will become lighter and deliciously crisp. No longer will I leave the house with a sigh, wishing for a quick return to modern air conditioning. With the change of the season I delight in spending time outdoors. Autumn is the season when I most yearn to live in the countryside.

I was born in urbia (Indianapolis), but have lived since an infant in suburbia - Metro Atlanta to be specific. There is green space 'round here, but not the miles and miles of open space I would love. I do not think one can fully comprehend the amount of open space in the United States until one has traveled through the West - mile after mile of absolutely nothing. Everyone that did not want to live out West apparently chose Metro Atlanta as their nesting place. During most of the year I handle my city existence pretty well, but come fall every year I feel ready to just take a napsack and head up to a mountain cabin for a few months.

My sister and I had talked for weeks of finding an obliging local field and enjoying an afternoon picnic. Yesterday's scheme of an afternoon picnic was stunted by the overwhelming urge by one of us for a Sunday afternoon nap, so the picnic never did materialize. However we still wished to spend some time in a real field (the sports field at a local park does not count) even sans picnic, so later in the afternoon we coaxed my dad into tramping with us through some woods in our neighborhood to larger woods and a field behind. It was so freeing to get away for a little bit from the endless sight of houses and cars that is metro Atlanta. It was the perfect weather for the walk, cool enough to be refreshing, yet warm enough so I was not chilled. It was so still back in the woods, so natural and unmarred by construction and activity. Just beautiful.

After we returned from our woodland jaunt, we decided to drive over to a local park that we had never before visited. I'm so glad we did. The park was obviously specifically designed with natural aesthetics in mind, as the usual overwhelming presence of metal fences, plastic playgrounds, metal swings, and numerous ballfields were noticably absent. Instead the park consisted of two walking/running trails, each two miles long, one paved, the other wood-chipped. There was a real wood playground and a delightful wooden fence surrounding it. The ugly metal and plastic that is so prevelant in most other parks was replaced with natural wood materials. It was truly beautiful with an abundance of trees. My mom, dad, sister, and I took a short walk around the path, and then my sister and I enjoyed a relaxing time on a delightful wooden swing that was beautifully crafted in an old-fashioned style - so much prettier than the ugly modern monstrosities that populate the typical county park. It was so relaxing and refreshing, almost like living out in the country ;). Hannah and I hope to return to the park soon, perhaps next Sunday afternoon. When the leaves start changing I'm sure the park will be breathtaking. I do not think there is any natural sight more beautiful than a wood full of autumn colors.

I'm so thankful that God gave us a beautiful world, not one void of color or texture. God could have created a 2-D, dichromatic world without seasons, but he did not. To fully display his glory he delighted to create a world with a full spectrum of colors, dimension, and texture. He then added the seasons by the tilt and orbit of our planet to give us such a wide variety of weathers to experience. I'm very thankful that on earth it is not "always winter, but never Christmas."

Thank you, Lord, for the miracle of Spring, the bounty of Summer, the beauty of Autumn, and the cosyness of Winter. Thank you, Lord, for seasons.

Soli Deo Gloria


Adrian C. Keister said...

I definitely resonated with this post. Autumn is my favorite season as well. For me, the two things I love best about it are the colors and the smell of a wood-burning stove. God is good.

Incidentally, I was just looking at your profile, and noticed you like lots of good ol' classic books like Sense and Sensibility and The Count of Monte Cristo. Have you ever read Les Miserables? That's my favorite fiction work of all time.

In Christ.

Susan said...

Ah, the smell of a wood-burning stove. I wish we had one. . . The colors are the most gorgeous part. We're hoping to head up to North Georgia for a Saturday soon when the leaves change.

Yes, I love classic literature! I discovered Jane Austen about 6 years ago, and the rest is history :). The Count of Monte Cristo was truly the most intriguing book I have ever read. I recently picked up a paperback unabridged copy of Les Miserables at a used book store, but haven't yet tackled it. I've heard it's very good. My reading has been sporadic of late, but I really need to pick up the pace. I definitely hope to read Les Miserables soon!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog and wanted to tell you that while I call myself a feminist, I would also call you one. A woman who knows her values, her heart and her faith and lives her life by them reguardless how society tells her how to live and what to think. You are a thinking woman and like how you came about your clothes choices, from thoughtfull consideration. I'm sure you are a roll model to those children you teach. I also thank you for the 144 post!