Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Late Autumn-Fall -- It's Time (Peter A. Black)
The Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, Hallowe’en, the American Presidential Election and Remembrance Day 2012 are now behind us – and hopefully, the Atlantic hurricane season, as well. Tens of thousands – perhaps millions – of Eastern Seaboard dwellers might not breathe easy on that score as yet. Thousands still have no permanent dwelling, due to the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy and the other stormy onslaught that followed.
We’re now in the latter portion of the autumn / fall period. Fall fruits are mostly harvested, and in parts of Southwestern Ontario tawny field-corn stands forlorn and dwarfed by drought.
I consider autumn as a time for reflection, and it’s also a time for us to continue sowing and watering seed of God’s Word and the Gospel – the good news of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Along with that, we sow good seed in deeds of kindness in Jesus’ name. These prepare for a harvest of the Spirit.
Thoughtful people often take to reflection in their later years. This period of life, commonly likened to autumn and called “the golden years,” conjures up warm sentiments, and rightly so, although some venerable citizens might describe them as “the groanin’ years”!
I reckon that “autumn” is a nicer word than “fall.” Leaves fall and temperatures drop. An increasing danger for seniors is falling. You’ll have heard the old wheeze or seen the cartoon of an elderly woman who bemoans that by this time of life her chest has fallen into her drawers, or perhaps the one about the old fellow who went about with his shoelaces undone. When asked why, he said that he just steps into his shoes, but when he bends down to tie them it’s too hard to get back up.
Late autumn – when trees shed the last of their leaves till none but the most stubborn remain, and when hoar frost greets us in the mornings, or gusting winds bring chilling rain or sleet, or much more than a dusting of snow – reminds us that winter’s a-comin’! It’s a time to bundle up when going out into the cold, or hunker down to stay inside where it’s warm. It’s always time to read and reminisce, and to pray and give thanks for God’s mercies.
Of course, there are those active 50-plus jet-setters who energetically stride around the neighbourhood, or square dance and jig, engage in sports, or spectate their kids or grandkids playing hockey or some other activity. Perhaps you’re a hunker-downer and prefer most nights to listen to music CDs or view favourite TV programs.
It’s time too, for the aroma of hot apple cider and cinnamon or hot chocolate to fill the house. My Beloved has been getting Christmas baking underway (hmm, smells great!). She’s distributed some already – and there’s church and community functions requiring baked goods, too.
Psalm 90:12-14 (NIV) reads: “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. . . . Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
Whether you call the season fall or autumn, it is a time for counting our days and our blessings, and a time to make our days count by blessing others in word and deed, extended in the name of Jesus, with the love of God in the heart.
Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and author of a children's / family book, "Parables from the Pond." A version of this article will be published in his weekly column in the November 15, 2012 issue of The Guide-Advocate. His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario.
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