Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Long Autumn

C. S. Lewis once wrote that old age was the best time of life, like Autumn. But like Autumn, he said, it doesn't last. Old age, or maturity past the full flower of summer.

We are having a delightful Fall in Manitoba. Our colours are not as showy as I remember from Indiana and Pennsylvania. In spite of the leaf on our country's flag, we have few red maples here: they are (I'm told) back in Ontario, which thinks it's Canada. (Hence the flag.) But the colours and temperatures and sun and clouds have all been lovely. Like a fading maturity.

I'm approaching 60 in another year and a half: maybe that's why I think of this. Sometimes getting older is a delight. To be with the wife of my youth (I was 27 years old then: it seems so young now, but it certainly did not at the time) for 31 years has been great joy. Another 31 years would bring me close to my father's age today. Which gives an idea of how old he was when I was born.

Sometimes I enjoy the Autumn, or at least late summer, the declining season of my life. Not always. Physical things that one shakes off quickly when young become more difficult to deal with. I exchange news of physical ailments with my friends in a way that no 2o something would think of doing! But most of the time I realize that God is good, and that Autumn is a wonderful season. Just too short -- especially in Manitoba.

The snow should come next month and stay until April, if past years are any guide. Meanwhile I listen to my jazz and world music, and work on my sermons and class lessons, and listen to people around me and listen for God's voice. Scott Peck said that the gift of our declining years is to be stripped of self-sufficiency so as to enter the presence of Omnipotence with an attitude of complete and total dependence: the only safe frame of mind with which to enter the presence of Omnipotence.

Autumn: long and warmly chill, coloured and shaded with reflective joy.

1 comment:

Faithe said...

I'm glad you're back to blogging again; I kept checking for several months to see what's happening in your life.
I, too, identify with the Autumn in my life. You know, I'm not too far behind you!! Amazing how your perspective of life changes as the years fly by.
The leaves in PA were especially beautiful this Fall. I enjoy Autumn, but not the season to follow. My "older" bones don't appreciate cold weather, and I too exchange stories of aches and pains that 20-somethings know nothing about.
Keep blogging; I enjoy keeping in touch with friends and family.