The Gift of Fall in a Season of Loss

fall low res this one

First, you pursue us with blood maples and tease us with your decadent, hazy light. Then you weave through the woods like the scent of decay that surrounds us with every step. Light bathes from above, so plentiful that not even the blood maples or the honey oaks can soak it all up before it overflows the canopy, spilling priceless gold onto the crunchy floor. Kelli Woodford, Chronicles of Grace, Oct. 20, 2014.

These words of Kelli Woodward, a blogger I read regularly, paint a picture of my favorite season, helping me connect two things I know to be true about me in the fall.

1.  I am and have always been enchanted by the beauty of fall. Sometimes it takes my breath away, leaving me speechless with its beauty.
2. Fall all is a season of remembering, sometimes with tears of sorrow,  sometimes with tears of joy

As you can see in the pictures below,  many of my family death anniversaries and/or birthdays come in late summer through fall to the end of the year, carrying over until my brother’s birthday in early January.

family fall

I made the following comment on her blog that day as I began to make the connection.

The burst of fall and her beauty creates a bittersweet time for me.  I have always loved her. It is also a season of remembering those I have lost. I am beginning to see a gift in all of this.  A season of remembering which sometimes brings times of pain and sadness is also a time of great beauty. I hadn’t thought of it before that way.  I like this thought.  I will ponder this gift.”

I pondered this thought over and over these last two weeks. Over coffee, the other day, my friend Denise and I talked about how Fall, coinciding with a “season of so much loss” is God’s grace and sweet gift to me in this season of contrasts. Sorrow and joy mingle, and I am not left with only sorrow.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Today, nine years ago today, at 9:30 pm, I received the news that my brother, Gordon, failed to meet his hunting partner as they had planned and he was missing.  Thirty-four hours later I would learn he was found but had succumbed to hypothermia.

I remember amid the waning beauty of this season.

christmas mountain

Added Note: In the fall of 2018, my friend ended her battle with ovarian cancer.  I’ll never forget how she ministered to me while she herself knew her life would likely be cut short.  Dear Denise, I miss you.


13 Replies to “The Gift of Fall in a Season of Loss”

    1. It was your inspired writing that in spired this, Kelli. thank you for YOUR writing. I will always think of you and the mixing of the joy and the sorrow!

    1. I love the words others have used here today – yours: “a bittersweet entwining.” thank you for yet another way with words.

  1. Cherish the thoughts, ponder the gift, Carol. Praying for your heart during this season.

    Here, the fading beauty is met by a wet chill. I really DON’T like this part as we move into the rawness of winter…I’ll try to think of a reason to be positive.

    1. Yes, I was out walking today, and the beauty was a bit different in the gray mist. I was thinking of you today and praying for you as you recover from your surgery.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful post, Carol. I too discovered this year the intentional juxtaposition of pain, with God’s beauty through creation, as a way of God letting me know he was and is with me. Joy and pain do go together. I am thinking of you tonight as you continue to reflect.

    1. i love the word juxtaposition. some words just sound like they are and this is a perfect one for the mixture and as my friend, Donna says below, the blending of two things that seem so opposite,. Thanks for being here.

  3. What a holy gift. To see God stirring together the beauty and the loss. Today I drove through the woods and the leaves were falling all around me. I stopped and rolled down the car windows so I could smell the rain coming on. Much more of the gray sky was visible because of the absent leaf cover, way up in the forest canopy. The “loss” of the beautiful leaves granted me a larger view, even on a gloomy day.

    1. oh, the “Blending” of joy and sorrow. I like that. Nathan above uses the word “juxtaposition.” Good words. thanks for sharing your picture today in response to the blog post. love you friend.

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