Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.
-Helen Hunt Jackson
Fall has long been my favorite season. Perhaps even more so after living in the absence of autumn for 6 years when we lived in coastal Northern California and South Florida. I truly love all of it-the pumpkin patches, apple orchards, crisp and clear weather, and the brilliant shades of falling leaves. Fall is what the Midwest does best, in my opinion, and I soak up every last bit of it, because even though I adore Fall, this season brings with it a feeling of dread as winter is looming.
Winter was never my favorite, but after having lived with tropical ocean breezes, palm trees, and 70 degree temperatures all winter, it was very difficult to go back to winters with 4:30 pm sunsets, below zero temperatures, overcast days, and months on end indoors. It didn't take long that first winter back in the Chicago area to figure out that I had Seasonal Affective Disorder. Friends and family told me I would get used to it again, but nearly 4 years later, I can say that winter will continue to be a struggle for me as long as I remain in this climate.
Yet we resist the coming of autumn, when all the leaves fall from the trees of our lives.
Our family has been in a bit of a dark, cold season over the past year. We have been through some difficult times with illness and our subsequent decision to step away from ministry. Right now we have few solutions, explanations, or answers, yet we remain in this season. A place where I admittedly don't want to be. The calling God has placed on my heart has not changed, yet this is where God has me right now.
A friend recently told me that she is praying for a "light at the end of the tunnel" for us. Absolutely that is what I am praying, too, but at the same time I have begun to seek the light inside the tunnel, because I have no idea if or when this season will end, and I need to God's light in every dark place of this season. So, I have begun to work on accepting the season I am in. Sometimes I am able to embrace it, and other times I am just surviving, but I realized that He alone can get me through.
When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining
-Helen Hunt Jackson
Back to what I LOVE about Fall. Apple picking! These pictures are from a recent trip to Royal Oaks Farm, which is a local favorite apple orchard/pumpkin patch. It is quite busy on weekends, but we happened to go on a beautiful Monday afternoon, and there were only a couple other families there. There are few things on this earth that I love as much as apple picking. In fact, I love it so much that I would equate it with an afternoon on the beach! I'm not even sure why, exactly, except that there is something so pure about walking through the fields and seeing something growing and sharing that experience with my boys.
I'm really not sure how it started, but my little Blakey (2) loves cats! So, when a cat showed up in the apple orchard, he was completely delighted! In fact, this little cat sort of stole the show.
The fact that we were even all healthy enough to go was a miracle, and to have both boys really excited about the actual apple picking was so fun! Brayden listened very carefully and seriously as the person who issued us our bag explained to "twist, twist, pull" when picking apples-a phrase he repeated the entire time we were there. Blake was more than happy to be hoisted into the air to choose his own apple.
I will leave you with this picture and a hope that I will be able to blog more often in the future. Thanks for stopping by!
(All word art is by Lili Niclass except for the first picture which uses word art by Cathy Zielske. All of my very amateur photos were taken with the iPhone 5.)