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Autumn of Our Lives

 

"The human soul is slow to discover the real excellence of things given to us by a bountiful Creator, and not until the shadows of death begin to gather around the object that we love, do we see its worth and beauty. Autumn is the dim shadow that clusters about the sweet, precious things that God has created in the realm of nature. While it robs them of life, it tears away the veil and reveals the golden gem of beauty and sweetness. Beauty lurks in all the dim old aisles of nature, and we discover it at last." -unknown
 
After the turbulent heat of summer and the fierce wrath of the storm, my life in my autumn years began. It is a time of calm repose. It is a new awareness of the beauty that surrounds me in all that God created. There is peace. There is contentment. There is a joy and excitement in discovering what life has to offer as I begin the last journey before I leave to go home. -Pat

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Somewhere along the way, I realized that the new year doesn't begin for me in January. The new and fresh has always come for me in the Fall. Ironically, as leaves are falling like rain, crunching beneath my feet with finality, I am vibrating with the excitement of birth and new beginnings.... My year begins in Autumn. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon
 
Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits. ~Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh  [written in the context of aging 

 

     

 

The garden still is green
      And green the trees around,
      But the winds are roaring overhead
      And branches strew the ground.
And today on the garden pool
      Floating an autumn leaf;
      How rush the seasons, rush the years,
      And, O, how life is brief!

 
~Richard Watson Gilder, "Early Autumn,"

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On the whole I take it that middle age is a happier period than youth. In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October, when the trees are bare to the mild heavens, and the red leaves bestrew the road, and you can feel the breath of winter morning and evening—no days so calm, so tenderly solemn, and with such a reverent meekness in the air. ~Alexander Smith 

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The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green. (Psa 92:12-14)
 

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So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2Co 4:16)

 

 
Thanksgiving Comes in Autumn
by Edith M. Thomas
 
I found one flower of heavenly blue
Upon a southward bourne;
"What bloom art thou, that wakest now,
On verge of days forlorn.
No kin of thine the fields to bless?"
then, spirit-eyed, the flower replied;
"I am the plant of Thankfulness,
I bloom when all the fields be shorn."
 
I heard one last sweet son on wing-
It rose at sunset lone;
"What bird is this, when woodlands miss
The chorus once their own-
Dismantled by the tempest's stress?"
A fluted note did earthward float;
"I am the song of Thankfulness,
Set free when other songs be flown."
 
Thanksgiving comes in autumn, Ay,
Thou heart within my breast;
Now thou art old, thy last joys told
Yet one outlives the rest.
Though Loss and Age upon thee press,
One inward joy naught can destroy;
It is the Joy of Thankfulness;
It flowers - it sings - it makes thee blest. 
 

Life's Evening
 
The world to me is growing gray and old;
My friends are dropping one by one away;
Some live in far-off lands - some in clay
Rest quietly, their mortal moments told.
My sire departed ere his locks were gray;
My mother wept, and soon beside him lay;
My elder kin have long since gone - and I
Am left - a leaf upon an autumn tree,
Among whose branches chilling breezes steal.
The sure precursors of the winter nigh;
And when my offspring at our altar kneel
To worship God, and sing our morning psalm,
Their rising stature whispers unto me
My life is gently waning to its evening calm. 

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The transparent haze which rests upon the mountain top at noon, the calmness in the air, and the clearness of the sky, now have a most mysterious influence upon the heart. The "still small voice" of nature makes us thoughtful; and seems to invite us to think upon the swiftness with which our days are passing away. How often at such an hour have I been startled by the beating of my own heart! And the sunsets of autumn - are they not gorgeous beyond description? More so than the brightest dreams of poetry?
- Charles Lanman, "The Dying Year"

 

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November 2017