The changing of the seasons is always such a thrill for me. I welcome each one with open arms, but the coming of fall is my favorite.

Fall reminds me of day’s end. It’s a time to relax, to reflect, to simply enjoy the moments when the coming sunset sends fingers of gold and pink across the sky, bathing the landscape with tinges of color to be savored for those few moments before night falls and the time for sleep comes.

The coming of fall signals a time to rest, reflect and enjoy the time before night — winter — arrives. Like the sunset sky with its brilliant colors, the Earth prepares for rest with brilliant colors of its own. I saw the prelude to this time as I passed by the Blount County Courthouse on Thursday. The dogwoods on the front lawn have the faintest hint of deep red now. It won’t be long until more shades of red emerge along with the yellows, oranges, russets and browns.

The autumn wildflowers are making an appearance now, too. Almost overnight, goldenrod is blooming everywhere you look, interspersing its sunshine yellow with other wildflowers in purples, blues and whites. I took some time after my interview at Peck’s Memorial last week to soak in the sight of these beauties in the field behind the church before I went on my way. The goldenrod was the star of the show, but the purple of ironweed and the blue of ageratum provided spatters of color in the midst of it. I’m drawn to reflections, and seeing the wildflowers mirrored in the nearby pond was another special moment.

I can see other ways Mother Nature prepares for bed when I look out my back door. The small container garden on the patio is spent. It was not overly successful, thanks to the invasion of tomato hornworms. In fact, you could say it was an exercise in futility. The tomato crop that had looked so promising fizzled out into a grand total of two small tomatoes. One, from an heirloom variety, I will keep for seed for next year. The pepper plants, too, fell victim to hornworms. As with the tomato plants, the pepper plants that were full and lush and promising one day were skeletonized the next. One small pepper was all that formed. I also will save it for seed, if it actually has seeds in it. Next year — hope always springs eternal!

Isn’t that a good metaphor for life itself? Seasons change, circumstances change, yet we must keep hope or else we have a most miserable existence.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 puts it best: “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted … .” And in verse 11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Spring, summer, fall and winter; daylight and nighttime; the beginning and the end.

Take time to savor the journey. Stop; look for the splatters of purple and blue among the gold; find joy in each precious moment.

Tomorrow, it will be only a memory.

Contact Linda Braden Albert with story ideas at Lindas Inkyfingers@comcast.net.

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