When I moved here back in January, the ground was frozen through and trees were skeletons and snow seemed like it was never going to melt away. It was cold, and wet, and my Floridian blood was not prepared for the shock that was a “feels like” temperature of -22 degrees.
The winter passed. The ground thawed along with my bones and the bare branches of trees gave way to beautiful flower blossoms and bright green leaves. I remember one day walking up the front steps and being caught by a pretty little purple crocus pushing up between the grasses. It was the first little sign of spring and I just wanted to pluck it up and keep it fresh forever.
Spring came and went along with a thick layer of yellow pollen that sat in my nose and gave me grief for weeks, and eventually the warmth of summer began to take over. The heat of the sun felt so sweet to my skin; I hadn’t realized how much I missed the sun rays and, yeah, even the humidity. I about cried with glee when I broke out the flip flops, and never have I loved a week of summer camp more than I did this year (even though it was one of the most difficult weeks of camp I’ve ever been a part of).
Somewhere in the past month or so, summer died off and autumn came to in a blaze of glory. The trees, friends! The trees. They are so beautiful. I didn’t know that the process of dying could be so beautiful. I didn’t realize that the pictures I’ve seen on my newsfeed and on the twittersphere and all over Buzzfeed were real. I didn’t know trees and leaves could be so brilliantly colored. I’ve never seen some of these colors in nature, let alone on a tree. The other day when I was driving around for work, I saw a tree with coral leaves. Bright, orangey-pink coral leaves. Just hanging out, distracting drivers as they passed by.
I’ve been so enthralled by the beauty of the leaves. I don’t even think the trees are mad about their leaves dying, because they know that sometimes you need to be pruned in order to bloom back in the spring.
With the changing of the seasons in the natural, I’ve noticed a changing of the seasons in the spiritual.
I moved here in the winter. I moved here in the dead of winter, with the cold and the darkness surrounding, and there was death. There was actual death all over my family, and all in the family that I moved here for.
In the spring I fell in love with a little church about an hour south of Pittsburgh. Being sucked into the community there was like my own little spring: the Lord used that place and that space to breathe life back into my wintered spirit.
In the summer I basked in the warmth of the Light. I soaked up the goodness of the Father, and He satisfied what my soul was thirsting for.
Now it is autumn.
Now it is autumn, and the shakable things of me have been falling away. The Father is pruning and pulling back layers I didn’t know I had, didn’t want to know I had, didn’t care to know I had. Now it is autumn and the seasons have shifted. The trees are so beautiful when they allow the unnecessary parts of themselves to die and fall away, and so too am I.
It’s not that leaves are unnecessary themselves, but they have served their purpose and now the tree is preparing for winter, when the wind can move freely throughout all its parts. And when the wind is done blowing and the perfectly white snow has covered all the limbs of the tree, then spring will come. Spring will come and the leaves will come back full force, blazing in their own sweet beauty.
So too will I.
My new season looks like a new home in a new city, and a new job where I write my credentials at the end of my signature.
My new season looks like letting go of what has served its purpose, and letting die what is ready to fall away.