Falling Out of Summer
by Sr. Joyce Lehman
Taking a Sunday afternoon walk around the Farmhouse property is one of my favorite things to do. I’m never quite sure which flora and fauna I’ll run into. Usually I do notice how many weeds have invaded the flowerbeds when I wasn’t looking.
This past Sunday I found myself a bit wistful as I looked at the last flower at the top of the hollyhock spires, the final fading bloom of the moon flower vine, the delicate almost ethereal blooms of the autumn crocus, and the “last rose” of summer buds trying to get their pink glory on display before the closing curtain call. Of course, here and there were the inevitable brown leaves scattered on the lawn.
And then I saw it. The young maple tree on the south lawn was turning red. Of course, it was just a branch or two, but the colored leaves were the wake-up call that summer truly was over, the first day of fall two weeks away notwithstanding. Nature knows better than a calendar the change of its own seasons.
Don’t get me wrong, fall and winter have always been my favorite seasons, but this time there was a sadness in seeing nature begin to wrap itself up in preparation for winter. Maybe it is because the summer of 2020, rather than being a time for people to get out of the house, to enjoy sunshine and fresh air, to travel and gather family and friends, was instead a time for hunkering down, for being cautious instead of carefree, for staying home.
This sad restlessness notwithstanding, I’ve learned that nature is a great teacher — a finger of God pointing the way back to him. Even without our noticing, when living things die, nature always brings forth new life. While it may not be the same flowers or plants or animals we saw before, it is life.
This fall I will need to let nature and its seasons reassure me that the “winter” these past six months have been will lead to a new spring and abundant life.