I’ve a confession to make; I absolutely love fall. It is, in fact, easily my favorite season. I like all the seasons in their place, but as far as I’m concerned, fall could last a lot longer than any of the others.
The instant I feel that first fall chill, I almost go nuts. I like the sharp sting of of the air as I breathe it in through my nostrils, sort of like savoring the taste of a spicy food (the kind that lets you know you’re alive, but doesn’t kill you).
It makes me feel like running. Like jumping into a pile of leaves. Like tackling the nearest person carrying a football. I feel I should always be grateful to be alive and I usually do, but somehow it’s easier in the fall.
One reason fall is great, is because that is when all the real sports start.
That’s right. Football and basketball are the real sports and I make no apologies for thinking that. Especially basketball. College basketball. Jayhawks basketball, to be precise. Having lived in Kansas all my life, basketball is the sport. I could go on for a long time, but let’s suffice it to say that in Kansas most of us get pretty excited when this time of the year rolls around.
It’s also the end of baseball. I have no doubt that watching a baseball game in person would be great, but I don’t really have that opportunity, so I go only by what I’ve seen on television. It’s dreadfully boring. It takes ages for much of anything to happen. After the batter has fouled off ten straight pitches, and you finally think something cool is going to happen, he whiffs the last pitch and the other team gets to take their turn at doing the same thing.
Maybe it’s not quite that bad, but it seems that way sometimes. I think the best way to watch a baseball game is to simply watch the Sports Center recap.
Another reason that makes fall great, is the excuse for larger amounts of coffee and tea. I know, who needs an excuse for that? But there’s nothing like enjoying fall weather with a hot drink in your hand. I enjoy the way they complete each other perfectly. The warmth of the mug in your hand, with the placid coolness of autumn air is simply magical. I pause and say to myself, Self, this is beautifully appropriate. I have a cup of coffee in the morning year round, but really, it’s even more satisfying in the fall.
The final reason fall is so great, is because of the colors. Oh, the colors!
The vivid blue of the Kansas sky in autumn provides a perfect backdrop to the stunning yellows, oranges, and reds of autumn. They contrast beautifully with the stately darks of the trees’ trunks and branches–especially after a good rain. It darkens the tones in the wood, making the leaves’ colors appear even brighter.
It also brings out some gorgeous contrasts in the different prairie grasses. As I drove the two and a half hour route from Hutchinson to Copeland after a beautiful rain, I was struck by color differences in the various grasses like I’ve never been before. The subtle mixes of orange and brown, were blended in such a perfect manner.
So occasionally, when I see such beauty, I wish life were simpler; that we humans wouldn’t have turned it into a rat race; that we wouldn’t have to feel, as Biblo Baggins put it, “like . . . butter scraped over too much bread.” Why do we do that to ourselves?
As time runs away from me, I continue to feel more strongly, as Don Miller suggests in Through Painted Deserts, that the simplistic beauty of the natural, that God Himself created, will make us feel a lot more human than any modern wonder conjured up by the minds of men. People constantly look for, they know not what, in the next big thing that money can buy, and don’t realize that they will never find it there.
But then some of that “stuff” is so handy. I love some of that “stuff.” So maybe I don’t know what I want.
Occasionally I wonder how I would do without it–which is pathetic. And then, circumstantially, I neglect the “stuff” for a little while and it feels refreshing, not crippling, so perhaps there is hope for me after all.
There it is. If you don’t like fall, hopefully I gave you a reason, or you thought of a reason to like it more, or maybe you are just hopeless. Something like that. Enjoy fall. It’s there so you might as well enjoy it. Life is too short to spend wishing things were different. Either that or you can be miserable. It’s your choice of course.
And . . . finally, in honor of fall. I will share with you a song: The Cure for Pain by Jon Foreman from his Fall EP.