Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm—my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. Joel 2:12-27 (NIV)
Fall arrives in Florida with great subtleness. You have to look closely to see it. It is in the clear bright blue sky, the wildflowers of yellow and white. It is in the shorter days and the yellow harvest moon. Florida fall comes as a breath. Just a hint of drier and cooler air first thing in morning and if you are lucky on into the afternoon. It’s still stinking hot outside, but there’s something a tad different. A wisp of possibilities. Fall makes me long for more, but also finds me making lists and plans for what I will do. Fall is like waking up after being sick in bed with the flu and realizing you are going to live after all. Today, as I walked six blocks to a meeting instead of being a lazy bum and driving, I mused about what all I will do when the air is really truly cool again. Here are my dreams:
Clean out the earth box where it has sprouted a forest of weeds and plant something new to replace the geraniums that I despise, but that managed to survive despite my hatred.
Weed the back flower bed and plant a new crop of nasturtiums. If my timing is right, they will be blooming by Thanksgiving.
Wheel out my kiln and get to work on ten projects that have been in my head all summer long. Some to put into an auction to raise funds for United Way, others for birthday and Christmas gifts.
Paint my living room a lovely shade of green. Or maybe a pale gold. I haven’t decided yet. While I’m at it, paint oldest son’s room a creamy yellow.
Haul the fall decorations out of the attic. Something happened this spring, and I never got motivated to pull out the Easter decorations. I don’t want to miss this season.
Scrub the porch rails and siding in time to put out the Christmas lights and greenery.
Go horseback riding every opportunity I get. Don’t even think about the laundry or dusting, just get up and go!
Finish editing my novel. Send it out to a million publishers and wait for the rejection notices to file in. But at least I will put feet to my dreams!
Reconnect with some friends who have drifted away in the last few months. Host a dinner party. Play some games.
Clean out the tack room in the barn. Donate stuff I don’t use to charity.
Go to the Florida Aquarium.
Kayak the Rainbow River.
Put air in my bike tires and ride the trails at Emerson Point.
Sit in a chair outside and do nothing.
Get out my Florida bird and butterfly books and study what lives in our area.
Give my horse a bath. Give my dogs a bath while I’m at it.
Bake an apple pie.
Breathe the crisp clean air of fall and empty my mind of its summer cobwebs.
I love these verses. They remind me that God can use even the most wasted parts of my life to bring about His plans and purposes. He will redeem the years the locusts have eaten. That thought invigorates me like the first wave of cooler temperatures.
Fall is in the air, can you feel it?