I love this time of year! I love pumpkins, and apples, and all the wonderful baked goods that come from these delightful foods. After a cold September, I enjoy Indian summer in October when the afternoons are in the 60’s, the air looks soft from just the right amount of humidity, the trees are at their peaks with reds, yellows, brilliant oranges, and burgundy leaves, turning to brown as they fall off the trees and make crunchy sounds under foot as I walk on them. I also love the challenge of trying to catch a falling leaf.
In contrast to the new, fresh light green foliage of spring, autumn has a matured sense about it. The autumn leaves have enjoyed the fresh youth of spring, endured the heat of the summer, and now, more beautiful than ever, peak to their most beautiful colors and autumn scent that is so calming and fulfilling. The leaves that drop off the tree nourish the ground and roots of the tree.
This season reminds me of friendships. We have at any given time new friends, some friends who have been around for a while, and old friends who have known us for years, who have gone through the “hot summers” with us, through the ups and the downs, and have provided shade and comfort to us when times were rough. The relationship matures, and it is trusted, and even if distance comes between us like the leaves dropping off the branches, their words of wisdom and loving hearts continue to nourish us.
James 5:16: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Notice that healing comes from being open and vulnerable to each other, confessing our faults, and praying for each other. I believe God wants us to have some close, mature friendships in which we can be vulnerable, and get the help and healing we need, first and foremost from God, but also from the genuine love of a friend.
Love is one of our most basic human needs. I thank God for the friends God has given me, and hope that I can be a better friend to those around me as well, as we all mature and peak with beauty that can only come from the warmth and compassion of a loving heart.