“Past Labor Day into Oktoberfest Fest, past All Hallow’s Eve into All Saint’s Day, the frivolity of harvest gives way to the coming hibernation of Mother Earth. It’s the time of my late year New Year’s resolution: that is, to put on the brakes long enough to watch the annual parade of colors processional, the fanfare celebrating a time of Jubilee about to come to a land worn from growing, feeding, and sustaining the lives of its inhabitants.
The Spirit walks along the park, too, singing a quiet lullaby: “rest now my little ones and close your eyes. I will guard you while you sleep. Though you die now for a time, I’ll wake you in the spring with the tears I weep.’”
Fall is sneaking up on me again. There is a certain joy in watching the changing of the colors of nature, a changing of the guard if you will. It slows down the pace of my day for a few moments, and I’m able to forget that life is passing by much too fast for me. But usually, I miss it and feel the disappointment of losing out on the opportunity to enjoy the experience, the slowing down of the rush and crush of life.
Meanwhile, nature dies again so it can be reborn in the spring. It becomes quiet even if its inhabitants don’t follow suit. And I think maybe that’s why I hate missing it happen. I desperately need that rest, so I can return again to the fray renewed and ready to resume the fight. I know the moment will come when the quiet born of a snow cloaked neighborhood below the expanse of the clear, evening sky will share with me a momentary joy. That is, until the reality of the bitter cold drives me inside to the safe haven of comforters and fireplaces.
A look back in the Old Testament reminds me that God ordered ancient Israel to celebrate a year of Jubilee every 50 years where, among other things, the land was to be given rest and slaves were to be set free. It could be said that God gives nature a few months of Jubilee every winter so that it can come back strong in the spring to do what it was created to do. It’s also why He commanded the Israelites to reserve a day of complete rest for themselves each weak.
I’m looking outside now at the trees that have not yet begun to lose this year’s clothing, though the fading has slightly begun to occur already, waiting for the chance to share in its Jubilee before the air becomes too cold, and I lose the chance to embrace the moment. If I am vigilant, I will remain atop the watchtower, ready and waiting to share with nature the joy of lying down for a much needed rest.