Fall Leaves

Towner's Woods with Chad and Jason at the Peak of Fall Colors

A lot has changed in the last week. It was the peak of fall foliage last Thursday and Friday. I remember hiking through the woods with friends, colors vibrant, fall leaves drifting from the forest canopy to the forest floor in cinematic splendor… And it feels so long ago. The weather was mild. I had a full beard. We were gearing up for strategic events within our network of churches.

Fresh Snow!

Then, came Halloween Weekend — including a half-marathon in Ashtabula and a Centennial road trip to Youngstown State University and a few different iterations of Halloween in downtown Kent, in our neighborhood, with family and friends, and with H2O. I styled myself as Walter White shaving the beard down to a goatee, shaving my head entirely, and wire-rimmed glasses, and I got a lot of compliments for the costume. And then, on Halloween Night — or November Eve — we got three or four inches of heavy, wet snow, which transformed the look and feel of town. We relearned the age-old lesson that Fall leaves more quickly than any of us expect.

The snow stripped most of the fall leaves from the trees. The television commercials started featuring Christmas music and Christmas imagery. The air temperature got quite a bit colder, so we all had to dig out winter coats. And I trimmed my goatee to a mustache, which feels like a kind of alter-ego to go along with the altered landscape. All very different.

Towner's Woods, One Week Past Peak Fall Foliage

On that same snow-covered first morning of November, I received a series of emails outlining new developments (and prospective developments) in our network of churches. From my vantage point, the new developments had the effect of buying more time for us to figure out who we are as a collection of churches and how we’re going to proceed. But at the same time, my heart grew heavy, realizing that we might still be early in the process of working out long-term implications. My thoughts drifted back to the biblical narrative of Genesis 2-3, recognizing that the Fall leaves us with a lot of toil and trouble in this life.

Still, I also wanted to celebrate the way that many of us have rallied together as peace-makers over the last several months. I paused and took a few deep breaths this morning, satisfied that I’ve said and done what I felt God was asking me to say and do. And now I can more fully return my attention to the daily grind of faithfully farming my forty acres in Kent. It’s reassuring to remember that Fall leaves; Jesus doesn’t.

This entry was posted in Health, Hiking, Introspection, Kent, Ohio, Recreation, Seasonal Depression, Transition, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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