Monday, November 12, 2012

Shakespeare, Carpe Diem, and Virginia Trees

Our 1st visit to Williamsburg, Va.
Autumn is God’s "carpe diem" reminder.

When we first moved from California to Virginia, my kids were in awe of the endless rows of trees.  People would ask them, “What do you think of living on the East Coast?” Each would answer something like, “There’s TONS of trees . . . no, really, I’m not even joking, they’re EVERYWHERE!”

Soon, our first autumn in Virginia arrived and with it, a new appreciation of trees.  The trees began to change colors, and we couldn’t seem to get enough of the gorgeous hues: maroon, cherry red, purple, auburn, burnt orange, yellow-gold, etc.  We took visitors on drives up through Williamsburg and northern Virginia with a destination in mind, but secretly I just wanted to see the trees.

All too soon, the leaves began to turn brown.  Lonely, barren trees emerged.  The unwelcome winter arrived.  

Every year now, I’m intentional about planning outdoor events to enjoy nature’s splendid show before winter comes.  The local news even reports the “highest peak time” for the fall colors, ensuring viewers they won’t miss out.  Apple picking, pumpkin patches, and fall festivals summon people out of the house and into nature.

In life, sometimes we’re in such a hurry to get to the goal that we don’t celebrate the beauty of what God’s doing all around us.  Every day something wonderful is ours if we’ll just pay attention—“Blessed be the Lord, who DAILY loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.” (Ps. 68:19)

During Autumn, God reminds me to seize the day. Enjoy the beauty and joyful times of life, no matter how small or fleeting.  The changing colors of Autumn inspired Shakespeare to write the words “love that well which thou must leave ere long.” (Sonnet 73)  How will you make the most of today?

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