Autumn

I expect many of you (not-so-young readers) may remember the 60’s song by the Byrds, ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’, which is taken from a passage in the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes [3:1-8]: ‘There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven’.

After the flood God said, “As long as the heaven endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease”.

Seasons are fundamental to how we understand the climate and the environment. For a meteorologist, autumn begins on 1st September, as each season is a three-month period. Astronomers base the date of the seasons upon celestial events (in this case the autumnal equinox, when night and day are roughly equal length). This year it will be on 22nd September.

And there are others …
But, whichever date I might choose choose, I’ve noticed more chilly mornings and the evenings drawing in. So as far as I can see autumn has arrived.
As Frank Ifield sang,
‘The night runs away with the day,
The grass that was green is now hay,
The world goes around without even a sound
And it looks like the summer is over.
The rains tumble down in the sky
Young swallows have learned how to fly
The leaves that were green are no longer so green
And it looks like the summer is over'.
So what does autumn conjure up for you?

I always think of the poem by John Keats, ‘Ode to Autumn’:
‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core’

People often refer to our stages of life as four seasons. In the well-known song, ‘When I was seventeen’ by Frank Sinatra, he goes through his life at 17, 21, 35 and in the last verse he sings,

‘But now the days are short,
I'm in the autumn of my years
And I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs
It poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year’.

Frank Sinatra, of course, sang, “I did it my way”. However, The Bible states quite clearly in the book of Proverbs that 'there is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death' [Prov 16:25].

Whether we are in the spring or summer or autumn or even the winter of our lives, none of us can boast that we will be here tomorrow.

As we put our trust in Him, let's ensure that we can say, ‘I did it His way’.

Rodney Martin