When you see the first fallen leaf. It’s a little bit green, but it’s mostly yellow. And you can feel it in the air, even if it’s still 104 out. Fall. The true beginning of the new beginning. Because birth begins with death—bright, vibrant, crunchy-leaved, pumpkin-obsessed, candle-burning, autumn sweater-wearing, turn on the heater for it as you settle in for a cozy evening that ends in empty trees, icy walkways, and a vast wasteland of cold, cold, quiet death. It’s beautiful up until the very moment it’s tragic. And we all love it.
We dress it up and make it merry and fill it with all the warmth we can muster. Family, friends, food, celebrations, gifts, and sometimes a blanket from the sky covers us with a layer of dusty, white, peaceful calm. Until we trample it with our muddy feet.
Nothing stays the same. Everything changes. And darkness comes before the light…or is it the other way around? Depends on what you do with what you know, I suppose. Pro tip: don’t hide it under a bushel. I’m told this is a no go.
When I think of seasons, I think of Cummings and the inevitable, ordinary passing of days. And it reminds me that I’m just a human like other humans (down they forgot as up they grew). I was born, and one day I’ll die. And before I was here, the world went upon its merry way, just as it will once I’m gone. It’s a hard concept for anyone who wants to live an extraordinary life. And yet. Somehow every moment matters. Every experience, place, friendship, meal…everything and everyone you care for, they matter like they’re the most important things in the universe. The complexity in the simplicity is striking. And I know this is how God designed us. Nobodys and somebodys all at once.
So, death and dying. It’s all part of it. Just like the old man—you know the one. The one you had to kill dead to get here. To be reborn.
But the grass withers and the flower fades.
Temporary in contrast with the eternal, and these seasons don’t stand a chance in the face of it. Nobodys and somebodys. Mortal and immortal. Dancing this temporal and eternal dance. Taking risks no sane person would if he understood the weight of it all. But the seasons trick us into routines. And routines trick us into feeling in control. And control tricks us into thinking we’re in charge (and we’re all there is). It’s the utter height of arrogance, and we know it deep down inside. Somewhere there’s a fairy muttering, “What fools these mortals be.”
The grass withers and the flower fades. But you and I are eternal beings. Do you like apples? (Careful.)
The balance of holding all of this in perspective is complex, but all of it is ours—winter, spring, summer, fall, and forever and ever, world without end, amen.