The Gift of Fall in a Season of Loss

fall low res this one

“First you pursue us with blood maples and tease 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 – read it here– A Fall Song

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 began to make the connection.

“The burst of beauty makes fall a bittersweet time for me.  I have always loved it and it is also a season of remembering those I have lost as most of the anniversaries/birthdays are in the fall season, starting August through Christmas Day (my mom’s birthday). I am beginning to see a gift in all of this.  A season of remembering which sometimes brings times of 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.”

And so I pondered over and over these last two weeks.  And 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 in the Fall.

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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.

And I remember amid the waning beauty of this season.

christmas mountain

added note in the fall of 2018: Two years later, my friend would end 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.