Fall is the one time of year that I really get homesick. I was born and raised in Massachusetts, and lived there the first 26 years of my life. Then I met my life long partner on a trip to Iowa, and moved there in my 26th year (I’ll share that amazing story in a future post). I don’t miss Massachusetts, but I do miss New England in the fall, and the reason can be summed up in one word – foliage.
We were a wild bunch in my late teens and early 20’s. We cared little about driving rules, and were rarely sober. And on the weekends, we would take off Friday night and not come home until Sunday, driving through the countryside at all hours finding fun places to visit and things to do. Stopped in at a lot of college pubs and campuses, camped out in the woods or in the car. Just one long party.
For those of you who have never seen the fall colors of New England, you should plan a trip sometime. I realize that now the roads are much more crowded than they were back in the early 70’s, but it’s still an amazing place to see the foliage. I have heard it said there is only one other place in the world that has the same combination of deciduous and evergreen trees, and that is in remote Siberia.
We would start with a trip to the northern parts and each weekend go further south, taking in a myriad of different areas and their spectacular views. And you get every color in the rainbow, and most of them brilliant to behold. Driving at sunrise along the shores of a lake, with the sun glaring on the dew covered leaves of the sugar males could actually look like the trees were ablaze with yellow, orange and red mingles together. Or the sides of the higher elevation, where the blue spruce and evergreens mingled with the colors to form a patchwork.
And we knew all the roads, and the back roads. Some of those back roads had trees that formed a canopy of yellow, or orange, or red draped across the road, the sun shining through in spots, but otherwise lighting up the leaves like light bulbs. Then, if you got up early enough, you could drive above the clouds it seemed and watch the sunset. With the dew forming a mist in the valleys between the mountains, watching the sunrise above the clouds was surely amazing.
And I miss that. A lot. Back them I did not know God. I did not know the creator who put that canvass together. As I reflect on that, I would so love to go back here again, now that I do have a relationship with God, and see the brilliance of those autumn colors. To see the palette of an all powerful God, and the artwork he has painted, just for our enjoyment. And to marvel at His handiwork.
But I don’t have to go home to do that – I can do it right here as well. Do I take the time to watch the sunrise and sunset? It is amazing to see what God can do with a little light and a few clouds. The spectacular vision of a sunset is never the same twice. Sitting and watching it change from moment to moment is a test in patience and wonder.
I need to take more time to see the beauty of His creation right in my own backyard, instead of dreaming of what I used to see in the fall in New England. There are so many marvels i this world. Let’s stop and smell, and see, the roses!