Autumn seems to tickle the senses in a way that no other season does. The vibrant colors that paint the landscape, the crispy aroma that fills the air, the crunching sounds of leaves as our dog frolics around in the backyard. The coolness of the air that teases us to cover up. I truly love this time of year.
I was lying in my bed a few mornings ago listening to the small drizzle of rain and looking out the window at the leaves that were falling from the trees like snowflakes. One by one from various places all over the tree they would seem to gently let go as they allowed the wind to catch them and take them wherever it pleased. A plethora of questions came rushing into my mind:
How did each leaf know when it was their time to let go? The branch they had clung too for months had given them life. It had been their home, the place where they grew and thrived. How comfortable it must have felt to be a part of this branch. The spring rain and the summer sun had beaten down upon them numerous times as they clung tightly to their life source. Storms had come and threatened their existence, yet up until this moment, they had held on.
What about this very moment made the difference?
Were they satisfied that they had fulfilled their destiny and with confidence gently loosened their grip to fall trustingly into the open wind?
Were they curious of what it would be like to be independent from this old tree and boisterously flung themselves loose into the great wide open?
Had the storms of summer weakened their resistance and they could no longer sustain against the gust of wind that was tugging at them with persistence?
Perhaps they were simply tired of holding on, knowing the inevitable winter was coming so they just gave in to the season that embraced them.
As I laid there and watched these leaves, I saw myself in their plight. I heard my symphony as they danced with the wind. I realized that every question of reason was shouting from within my being. Autumn had come and set up residence in my heart many months ago,bringing so many changes my way:
Some were welcomed and I felt no apprehensions as I chose to follow their lead.
Some had tickled my curiosity and, like a child with no reason, I had pursued hard after them.
Some had come at me like a whirlwind, pounding against my resistance, beckoning me to give in and to loosen my grip.
And some were still lingering, with weary hands and a worn out grip, I find myself clinging to the threads of a fading hope, knowing with dreadful apprehension that if I did find the courage to let go, then winter would surely come and bring death to the once beautiful things I cherished.
Life, with all her uncertainties possesses a surety in the cycles. Autumn will give way to winter and the cold will come with death in her bosom. Just when you think that you can’t take another day, spring will burst forth with her promise of life anew. Summer will follow with her warm embrace, but ah don’t get too comfortable. Once again the kiss of Autumn will paint her colors before us and sing her song of letting go.
I laid there shaken by the thoughts that consumed me. If I were the leave, oh Lord, what comes after I fall? In a moment of clarity, the answer came bringing yet another life lesson. I am not the leaf whose destiny is the hands of changing seasons. I am the branch that is attached to the life giving tree. Jesus tells his disciples in John 15:5 that He is the vine (tree) and they are the branches. As long as they abide – live in and through Him – they will produce much fruit. Apart from Him, they can do nothing. So yes, as sure as the seasons come and go, there will be times in my life that I blossom with the new, times that I bend and shake in the storms, and I will inevitably face those moments that I must let go of the things that are dying. It will all come to pass, but my security lies in the source of life that I am attached too. Regardless of what comes my way, if I remain intact, living and abiding in the tree, then I will grow stronger with each passing season.
John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me, you can do nothing.