I love fall. That first crisp morning where a sudden chill has replaced the the sweltering heat of summer. When an all green tree has one or two red leaves poking out. When you hear TV football commentators reveling in the anticipation of an upcoming game. That’s fall.
I know you summer people come into fall kicking and screaming, but once you’re there, what is there not to love? The leaves are too colorful? The chili is too delicious? The blankets are too cozy?
A number of years ago, I picked up what I thought was just a fall decoration. It was a chalkboard with a bucket list of fall activities. I don’t know why I thought it would merely adorn my house and not be a “to do” list, especially since I have kids. Some of the things on the list are easy ones. Eat turkey. Sure, that one happens at the very end of fall, but of course we’ll do that. Others, like take a hayride, require some planning. Someone has to eat a carmel apple. My oldest son is quick to take the lead on that one and I gladly drink a pumpkin spice latte. There are so many traditions in the fall, and we seem to add to them every year. In my house, if it was a hit, it always becomes a tradition. My kids will say, “But we always do (fill in the blank)” I’ll say, “Only that one time.” But they’ll insist it’s a tradition until it actually is one.
I like the fall bucket list, but maybe we don't actually need one. Some of our most fun adventures weren't taken from a list, but our openness to trying something new. And not just yummy food, but things that are best experienced with the colorful, crisp backdrop of the season. I love to go hiking any time of year, but fall hikes are the best. I love hot drinks. In fact, a few years ago, I wrote an entire blog post about them. Whether it’s coffee, tea, or cider, there’s nothing like a mug of something hot while curling up with a good book or doing a puzzle.
Just like any time of year, we can get all wrapped up in the activities and forget to just kick back a little and enjoy the season. Social media reminds us of all the festivals and events we can attend. And the friends I see posting pictures from them appear to be having a wonderful time, but we don’t have to be so busy. Especially with kids, I’ve learned that they are just as happy spending time at the park or hanging out in the backyard than being carted off to crowded events that are mostly for the photo op. Take time to enjoy the season. Smell the coffee. Read the book. Take the hike. Enjoy the beauty around you.
Fall is one of those times where God just shows off. He paints the earth so we can look at it and say, “What a God we serve. That he gave us all this.” We have so much to be thankful for and this season is one of them. Don’t miss it.