When Autumn Doesn’t Fall

On some mornings, I step outside and imagine myself among the Galilean hills, standing by the shore, waiting for the sea to brush my soles with its foam, feeling close to Jesus.
At first glance, this early morning looked for all the world like the grayest, dampest, most depressing un-dawning of a day I could remember. I hoped my little dog would get his business over and done with quickly so I could leave the sad state of the world behind and get back inside where it was warm and I could let there be light with the flick of a switch.
If I were looking for a moment by the Sea of Galilee today, it was nowhere in sight.
The World Series was over, which always leaves me melancholy as I bid farewell to my daily summer companionship with baseball. And, of course, that also meant Daylight Savings Time would leave—that night, in fact—an exclamation point to hammer in the return of darkness and the coming coldness of winter.
My annual adaptation to the falling of the year never comes easy. I’d have more success adapting a novel into English from a language I can’t read. For at least two weeks every November, I slog through—mentally and spiritually—making sure I’ve picked out a good novel by P.G. Wodehouse to read as I gain inner traction (which means any of Wodehouse’s 80-plus books).
And then I took a second glance.
What dawn was this?
The sun seemed to be rising up through the trees, stretching out through their limbs and glowing in their leaves of orange, yellow, red and every combination of those colors imaginable.
Literally, the leaves seemed lit up from within to such a degree that the world around me appeared to be filled with light.
Each leaf was a glowing ember that warmed my soul.
Against the grayness of the sky, the autumn leaves were nearly neon. The trees had puddles of light where their leaves had fallen, a reflection-like mirror so that I could see the truth:
The light that really matters doesn’t rise and fall from the east into the west each day and the departure of Daylight Savings Time cannot take it away.
The light that matters most finds a way to shine up through us into the world, as it seemed to be doing through the trees and their leaves on that first Saturday morning in the eleventh month of the passing year.
Just like Jesus said it would.
As our hearts overflow with God’s love and grace we spill over the brim of our own lives toward those around us. Like un-corked champagne from a shaken bottle, it simply cannot be stopped.
God reaches the light of love and grace into the world through our willing hearts even when every clock on the planet is re-set to accommodate a season of darkness.
Sometimes, only surrounding grayness can translate the immortal language of the truest light into words we can understand and share with one another.
Especially sharing with those whose own limbs feel leafless and silhouetted against a sky to which they are praying for light.
The wind suddenly blows my fallen leaves into yours.
And, just now, yours into mine.
They are so mixed up together now I cannot tell whose are which and which are whose.
But, it doesn’t matter.
Together, we shine.
Fall has risen.
Galilee’s tide is high.
Our soles are awash.
And, in this moment, we are not alone.

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