Today the temperature says summer but the aroma says autumn. Though it’s unseasonably warm, the air is fall-scent infused. I soak in the sweet, musty smell of fading flowers mingled with sun-drenched leaves and pine windfall baking in the hot sun. It’s the smell that takes me back to jumping in leaf piles and making playhouses from fall’s litter.
My garden says it’s autumn, too. I’ve harvested and preserved more than we can possibly use in a year… and given a great deal more away. My string beans are finally strung out. My cucumber vines are in a pickle. And my sweet corn is earless. Only my cold-weather vegies are still cranking out crops. Now I look forward to putting up the fall fruits: apples, grapes and cranberries.
These days my body agrees autumn has arrived. It would be an overstatement to say I feel old, but I certainly don’t feel young anymore. My energy level is falling with the leaves. My memory is decaying with the windfall. And my body is fading with the flowers. My only hope is in knowing God has preserved my soul.
Our culture makes getting older out to be some kind of cruel curse. Marketers make millions on products purported to preserve youthfulness. Fitness freaks try to dupe death by always eating and exercising just right. This nation is preoccupied with trying to cheat time… and people get sucked into it. Eating right, exercising and staying young at heart are all good things, but make no mistake about it, aging and death are inescapable.
I’ve never viewed getting older as a bad thing, just a different thing. I relish the good and accept the not-so-good in every season of the year. Likewise, I am relishing the good in this season of my life, and learning to accept the challenges. It’s much different than the carefree springtime of my childhood or the adventure-filled summer of my young adulthood. But I’m enjoying the fruits of my earlier years of labor, and the autumn aroma of security in Christ. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)