Fall, Change, and Other Fireside Thoughts

Here where I am, we have had the first few days of True Fall. The first snow of the season, so early and such a delightful morning surprise. The first long day of foggy sweater weather. The first day for gloves and the scent of a fire waiting at home. If you have read any of my posts here, it’s probably redundant to say fall is my favorite season. The changing leaves and brisk breezes bring out excitement and maybe even ambition in me, as if I, too, need to squirrel away projects instead of acorns.

I know fall isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s easy to think of autumn as an ending, a closing, the last bar of a song. One of the reasons for this is that it’s one of the times in the year when we really notice change.

When the leaves turn colors, we react like someone’s gone and painted them overnight. We say, “Wow! It happened so fast!” as if the leaves themselves haven’t been planning this all year. Daylight fades sooner, and breezes grow sharper. Things look differently than they did before.

But allow me to make a case for change.

Change, so often depicted outside of us, is unknown and therefore incredibly uncertain. We meet change around every corner of our lives, and yet we still behold it as a stranger. At times, it’s more appealing to cross to the other side of the street, to continue the way we were going as best we can. If that’s not possible, we’d rather mumble our excuses, awkwardly try to get by each other, and walk until the discomfort of the encounter has faded.

Rarely do we consider why we keep running into change.

I wonder if this isn’t because all of us are, every day, growing. Growth, in itself, is change. So rather than being startled by it or even afraid of it, we should take a moment to ask where this change is headed. While not always the case, you might be surprised to find that the two of you are going the same direction.

Now, change is an uneasy travelling companion. Sometimes it’s imposing, as sudden and overbearing as a shout. Sometimes it’s more subtle, clinging like doubt. However, engage it directly, daily, and the conversations you have will redefine you both. We mustn’t forget that it takes two to have a talk, and we are one of the two. How we respond to change is always in our power. And as in all relationships, it is the everyday that demonstrates character, the good and the bad. In-between the minutes of typical days is where these choices and little talks will happen, and perhaps one day you will see that change has become something different than how it first appeared.

Perhaps it will be patience holding your hand or renewed dedication running beside you on cold mornings. Maybe it will be a new appreciation for sunrises and fresh days. Maybe it will be softer words and more thoughtful questions.

Whatever change looks like to you now, I ask that you take a little time to sit down, invite it to share a coffee, and listen. Just as autumn is necessary preparation for spring blooms, change is part of us growing, too.

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