For me this time of year, autumn, fall, whichever word you choose to use, is filled with a sort of discomforting or unsettledness in my soul. I’m not really sure why, but when I found this quote, it helped me to at least start to understand this annual event and how it affects me so deeply.
It was Stanley B. Horowitz, a prominent leader and humanitarian in the Jewish community, that said, “Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”
As the calendar seems to tumble quickly into the autumn season, a kind of melancholy mood mixes with the elation of seeing the glorious fireworks of nature that are on display this time of year. I’m not sure why that with the rainbow-colored sunsets, the crispness of the air, the first smell of smoke from fireplaces and the rich depth of brilliant color all around, I being feeling this way. Each autumn, I experience a convergence of the entire year that has passed and quickly realize that we’re staring winter in its ugly face.
It might possibly be the sadness that another summer has faded away. Or, maybe it’s the thought of winter’s icy grip coming just around the corner. Perhaps it’s that the serene images of spring have long ago left my memory, who knows. What I do know is that autumn has become kind of reckoning of all things regarding life for me.
In autumn, you see the death of things living, but in their death there is glorious beauty. Isn’t it that way with us mortals as well, especially when that one knows they will be with God after leaving this earth? It is certainly a spiritual event when a person passes from life unto death. We don’t understand it, we cry, we grieve, we ask why, but how many times have you heard loved ones, who gather around the bedside of someone who has just been ushered from this world into the next say, “They had such a peaceful expression on their face when they passed.” I know I have, and maybe a bit of that is reflected in nature during this time of year.
Yes, a lot of things that were vibrant and alive during spring and summer are now dying. Yes, winter will continue complete this process and freeze nature until the warmth of spring will allow it to burst forth with life once again. So we see it in a person that is passing from life unto death when they have secured their glorious eternal future through Jesus Christ.
I’ve found that it’s this convergence of all the seasons of the year, and what they each represent, that creates this annual discomforting, or discontentment in my soul. It is nature’s visual representation of our mortal lives passing from life to death. It is not unlike the fact that when someone dies, you often hear them talk about their entire life passing before eyes. So I get it more now than ever before! We see all the seasons of the year crammed into autumn because we experience the passing of spring and summer and nature preparing itself for the winter to come!
It is often said that ‘art imitates life’, I would like to suggest that ‘nature imitates life’ on a much deeper, yet often unnoticed level.