Not long after the new school year had begun and the harvest had been stored away in the granaries on our farm, the leaves on the trees turned from green to yellow and red, and finally to gold. When they were at last released from their usefulness, thousands of these little gliders took flight on the cool north wind and covered the ground in a thick, noisy blanket.

The sun showed itself later each day and the long shadows arrived earlier. At first, I felt a sadness at the passing of summer. Before long, though, the changing of the seasons sent new images of anticipation dancing through my eight-year-old mind.

After school one day, I took a shortcut through my chores so that I could set out on a quest. It started in the garage, moved to the tool shed and finally found success in our large machine shop.

It was there at last that I found my sled. I managed to lift it off the wall where Dad had hung it the previous spring. I stepped inside the rope fastened to the front, and, with considerable effort, pulled it over the dirt toward the house.

When Dad caught sight of me, he smiled and said, “I don’t think it’s going to snow for a while yet. It’s only October.”

Summer is a wonderful season, but I still love the refreshing coolness of fall, even in Southern California. The end of one season marks the beginning of another.

Though fall and winter are the seasons of death for many species of flora and fauna, spring and summer are the seasons of renewal, rebirth and resurrection. Whenever winter enters your life with its chilling cold and disorienting darkness, buried under the snow is the promise of awakening and new life.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

October 25, 2007