Spring is about renewal, resurrection, the hope of youth, emerging offspring, green vibrancy, rebirth. It is about rain replenishing nature, warming skin, hearts and minds. So, what is autumn? Is it the harbinger of death, and gloom? Is it chilly days threatening frozen temperatures, the death of leaves and trees? Is it a symbol of the year’s finality, even the end of our days?
Autumn also represents a kind of hope, a burgeoning glimpse at the reincarnation of nature.
You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.” The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
So, nature applauds rotting plants and biodegrading leaves, and we applaud the sacrament of baptism, a submersible decision to die to self. Thus, it explains our joy even when we witness the break down of chlorophyll and the slow, steady disappearance of vibrant greens, even when the rusty leaves glow from their branches. Their branches, bare, protrude awkwardly, reaching out to nothing in particular, haphazardly underlining a gaggle of migrating geese in the October sky. Even so, we thrill with its beauty.
And so, it explains a child’s joy, an irrepressible giggle bursting forth as he tumbles and spills across the dead, dried leaves. They serve not so much as evidence of death, but as a reminder of an ever-renewing promise.
Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
II Timothy 2:11