FALLING FOR FALL
It is here–the time of year that I don’t want to miss and if I’m not observant I will do just that–miss it. It is fall in Gilbert, Arizona. Not a blinding, energetic burst of color fall, but a subtle, rather drab, extremely un-showy fall. And I love it. I remind myself every time I go down Lindsay Road between Baseline and Guadalupe to pay attention and soak it in because this is the only fall I’m going to get this close to home.
I know what real autumn looks like. I just returned from Ohio where the whole state was putting on a fall extravaganza in burning reds and simmering oranges. It was the kind of fall that says, “Look at me! Aren’t you in awe of my beauty? Let the ‘wows’ begin!” And I did. I “wowed” at every turn in the road. Over and over I cried, “This is so beautiful. This feeds my soul. Don’t you just love it?” to which my companions shrugged and continued talking about the NFL Hall of Fame.
When aspiring young people tell Barbara Walters that they want a career like hers, she answers, “Then you have to take the whole package.” For me, glorious autumns come with undesirable whole packages which include harsh winters and difficult weather. A dramatic fall didn’t keep Hurricane Sandy from recently wreaking devastation.
So the lure of seasonal brilliance isn’t enough for me to take the whole package and Ohio’s lovely fall doesn’t take away from my own reserved and undemonstrative Gilbert fall. I find joy in the greens turning slowly into russets and tans and browns and bronzes. My fall does its best to please me and I don’t feel neglected by God’s paintbrush.
My unobtrusive autumn is a reminder that something doesn’t have to be the very best to be enjoyed and appreciated. I don’t have to be as popular as Wayne Dyer to be a speaker of philosophy. I won’t reach millions, but I will reach some. I don’t have to sing, “In My Daughter’s Eyes” as well as Martina McBride before I can learn all the words and sing to my grandchildren. I don’t have to be the head of a great organization to serve and give and help in my own narrowed circle. There is room for the “kind ofs”, the “sort ofs”,the “almosts”, the “somewhats”. There is room for me and there is room for you, doing the best we can with what we’ve been given. And we can find joy in the doing.
When discouragement sometimes wraps itself around me like a shroud, when I feel dispirited that I’m not the showy, performing one, I think of my Gilbert fall and I am content–sort of.