Fall leaf Something about this time of year makes me restless. I’m not sure what it is, exactly, but every autumn it’s there.  This sense of not quite fitting into my skin.

Maybe it’s the foreshadowing of winter months ahead, since I’ve never done well with cold and grey. Or maybe it’s just the reminder that things don’t stay the same, that seasons come and go even if we’re not quite ready.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy autumn. I love it, actually.  Sweaters and candles, cinnamon and trees like flame…  I just find that my thoughts scatter easily, like dry leaves in the wind, and I feel deep things I can’t define.

When I was pregnant, my girls would roll and stretch, pushing hard against the deepest parts of me. I remember thinking how uncomfortable and alien and amazing it felt.

Maybe that’s what this is. Maybe it’s hope, expanding and growing, rolling like new life in the secret places of my soul. The quiet knowledge that one season must end before another begins, and that there is beauty in every stage.

My favorite college professor used to say that young people have a hard time with perspective because they haven’t lived through enough seasons. There is wisdom that is earned through watching years cycle in and out, seeing what things change and what stays the same.

The older I get, the more I value the constants. No matter what we have to let go of, there will always be certain truths and natural rhythms. Golden sunsets, dark nights, and misty new-day light. Ocean waves stretching horizon-to-horizon. Music and color and laughter and good food. Forgiveness and mercy and promises written in red. Tomorrow, the next day, and the next, until Eternity dawns and sings peace to our restlessness.

And, if I’m still for a while, I think can already hear the unchanging hope-refrains of Eternity’s song.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”  Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

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