Seasons and the Soul

This season is so great. I had my first pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks this morning. It was a truly special moment. I didn’t realize just how much I’m perceived as an “autumn person.” I know that I’ve always enjoyed the change of season from summer to fall. But, until this week, I didn’t know just how much other people tend to associate me with this new season.

On Tuesday my friend Zach posted this article on Facebook and later that afternoon Greg had a pumpkin spice latte with me in mind. Usually I like to avoid being set in categories, especially those that are particularly “hipster” (which I guess is a hipster thing to do, huh?). But I couldn’t get out of this one, because earlier on that very same day I had already posted this on Facebook. So I guess there’s no way out. I’m that guy. One of the many. Who enjoys the cooling air and the changing colors.

And I guess it really is true. Because just about every year (or so) I have tended to write some sort of reflection about the change of season. Here’s proof: 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012. Before Tuesday rolled around, the impulse had already moved across my heart to sit down and write a blog about the coming of the fall. Then Facebook called me on my predictable-ness and now here I am being predictable, hipster, and cliche. But I will write of the beauty nonetheless.

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I think I know why I love fall so much. It is at the coming of fall that the poetic soul reawakens in me. A creative imagination stirs inside. Why do I write something just about every fall? Because there are words. It’s so often that the words aren’t there. There are many times that I go to the pools of inner-reflection and find them dry. I look for words to narrate my day-to-day, but not find them. Meaning and purpose too often get lost in monotony. But, for some reason, the fall restores the pools. The words are there. And so it is during this time that I use them. It’s not just words though. It’s a sense of purpose. It’s an energy. An imagination. An eye for the little beauties that are all around. For some reason that stuff wakes up for me in the fall. But why the fall?

I can’t say exactly. Maybe it has always been finally finding a rhythm after the start of a new school year. Maybe it’s coming up for a fresh breath after drowning in the onset of allergies. This year, maybe it’s being finished with our college ministry’s fall retreat–there’s no more pressure of a coming event. For whatever reason, my soul comes alive during this season. And it’s happening again.

This morning, some friends and I were talking about how great seasons are for the heart and soul. It makes me think that God is so gracious to have created them. Seasons help move us along when we get stuck. Environmental psychology has taught us that our surroundings actually affect the way that we think, feel, and function. God has formed the world so that every few months our environment changes and we have the opportunity to move forward, to change, to grow. It is almost as though the seasons are a part of our sanctification.

I am thankful for this season and for the days ahead. May God continue to stir up imagination and awaken our souls to him!

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