I just can’t drink in the sights enough. Like the fjord horses in a nearby field I saw grazing as the evening mists began to rise around them, or how a particular lane of trees looks like a lake reflection as the earth and sky on either side of their trunks are big flaming orbs, or how children gleefully take those exaggerated, shuffling steps through fluffy piles of leaves (I just might have shuffled a bit gleefully myself!), or how the golden aspen leaves flitter wildly in the wind like hundreds of tiny waving flags or the special satisfaction I feel when a in-flight leaf takes a soft landing in my outstretched palm.
My husband, on the other hand, isn’t a big fan of autumn. To him it heralds the descent of darkness over Norway (this week we are losing about five minutes of sunlight per day), the temperature drops and rain usually adds to the misery. Plus the difficulty of clothing appropriately for the chilling weather (Wool or down jacket? Synthetic or wool long underwear? Hat or just scarf? Maybe gloves?) means that on occasion you end up being rather cold (or in my case, rather warm from over-dressing - I’m still trying to get this figured out!).
However, it has been a particularly beautiful autumn this year, because, as one of my friends so aptly observed, “It isn’t raining so much that we have to walk around looking down. Instead we can look up and see the beauty surrounding us.” As I took in her words I had the feeling there was something pretty important about what she’d said. And as I’ve pondered it, I’ve realized that a rainy autumn – in which we take shelter under umbrellas, keep our heads covered, our vision blocked and earthward – isn’t a whole lot different than how we humans are apt to do life.
The rain of joblessness, spitting fog of nagging health problems, and downpour of financial worries easily casts down our sights and spirits. And the sunshine of prosperity, clear skies of ‘things going my way’ and brightness of success helps us to see with joyful enthusiasm the beauty of life around us. But the truth is that rain or shine, good or bad – the beauty and blessings are always around us. This season I wish courage to you and me – may we take down our umbrellas and be in awe at the myriad of beauty surrounding us, and thus be filled with hope.