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There’s something in me that really dislikes autumn.  I mean, I love the autumnal colours on the trees and leaves on the floor that crunch when you walk on them.  But there’s something sad about the dying, about the cold creeping in and the long winter around the corner.

My birthday is in November so that’s often something to look forward to.  But then again it’s something to have to plan for.  What will I do this year – go for a meal out with friends?  Where will I go, who will I invite?

I have lots of crafty and foodie posts simmering under the surface.  But at this start of September and start of autumn I feel more like blogging about the changing seasons!  I’ve just finished a lovely book by Ken Gire called ‘Windows of the Soul’.  At the end, he writes about God speaking through Nature and how that for Christians, it’s easy to study the Bible or go on a course to learn about that but we overlook His glory in nature and what He says through all He has made,

We are taught how to parse verbs but not the seasons…  We draw truths to live by from Solomon’s Proverbs but not from Nature’s.  We study the Davidic Psalms but not the divine ones in Nature, which chorus praise as well as cry out lament, and which groan along with David for its rescue and redemption.  If one and the same hand penned them both, are not both in some way speaking to us?

I wonder what’s going on with autumn and all the emotions and feelings that stir within me when it comes around.  Maybe it’s the sense that there is a death and things come to an end.  Roll on spring when new life begins and summer when the heat comes.  But that’s far too far away.  There is beauty in the reds and golds and yellows and oranges coming.  But a sadness in the same time.  The leaves drop and leave bare trees, emptiness, as well as the chilling winds, drop in air temperature and shorter days – dark afternoons and mornings.  But even reading this brings some encouragement.  In shedding leaves, deciduous plants become more effective for pollination, when they flower, attracting insects; and avoiding water loss – a bit like the hump on the camel’s back, preserving water for the desert journey – through the winter?  And for colour, you’re hard pressed to beat the vibrant colours in autumn.

In my first autumn in Japan, I went on a birthday trip to Hiroshima, Osaka and Kyoto.  On a day trip to Miyajima, I encountered the most spectacular autumnal colours I’ve ever seen.  Japanese acers in abundance.  Here’s a photo from that memorable time: