September! A new month and a new season on the way and it's one of my very favorites!
In the South, the promise of the cooler weather of autumn is always graciously welcomed after a hot and humid August! Most of us start thinking about lovely autumn weather long before it actually arrives in mid to late October.
The pace of life picks up speed with a flurry of activity brought on by school starting and the promise of football season kicking off. The vacations of summer are over and there is a revival of church activities - Bible studies, youth programs, picnics, outreach events and church suppers.
There always seems to be a bit of excitement in the air in the fall. Autumn breezes and crisp, cleaner air push away the inactivity of the lazy days of late summer and encourage us to head outside and plant a shrub, weed the flower beds, take a walk, go on a picnic, paint a porch or play a little touch football with the kids.
Parks and pastures are filled with apple festivals, arts and crafts shows, county fairs and fall rodeos. Neighborhoods become village markets with tag sales, garage sales, yard sales or whatever your particular region calls them. Houses are filled with the smells of home baked breads and pies and jellys and jams as we work to enjoy and preserve our late summer harvests. Blankets and quilts are brought out of storage and aired out in the fresh air to be ready for soon to come cool nights sitting in porch swings. Firewood is cut and stacked and ready for the first cozy fire of the season.
The pumpkins on the vine are getting fat and will be harvested soon for Halloween. The fragrance of fresh mowed hay brings to mind hay rides, campfires, spiced tea and s'mores! The trees are being painted in glorious hues of reds and golds and yellows to usher in our Thanksgiving observance and the Advent season.
It is a time to reflect on our past and our future and to recognize that no matter what our circumstances we have much for which to be thankful. It is a time to come together with family, friends and/or strangers to share our bounty and to offer up our praise and gratitude to God for all of our blessings. It is a time of expectation and excitement as we await the day that has been set aside to honor the birth of the Savior of the world!
It is my sincerest hope that your fall season will be filled with a bounty of gratitude, family, friends and opportunities to serve, but most of all I pray that it be filled with the everlasting peace of knowing Jesus Christ.