McDowell Technical Community College

Yancey County Hospice

Fallen Leaves

By Jacob Willis

Yancey County

   Ecclesiastes 3 says, “ To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”  Fall is here and for many people changes of the season is a reminder of life, death, and change. 

Fall is a time of beauty in this area that is unmatched in any other season.  The leaves change and hot weather gives way to brisk mornings and cool nights.  The light of autumn’s evening and morning pierce through the clouds and fog like a million fireflies flickering all at once.  Fall represents the time of life when we are wise and still active.  It is where strength meets wit in a wonderful melody played for those fortunate enough to live this long and learn from it.  Fall is the time when we empty nest and watch our children’s children play.  It is when great opportunity happens for those who have prepared all their lives for it.  Fall is beautiful.  

Fall also reminds us in not so subtle ways that winter is coming.  Many elderly people suffer from depression as fall approaches.  They know when the leaves begin to fall, the days shorten and the flowers fade that things will die.  In a spiritual sense maybe they realize their own mortality is approaching.  Maybe they look back to fall in their lives with longing.  Hoping for the beautiful days of middle age again.

Fall also reminds us of swift transition.  For everything there is a season.  We may look around and see changes all around us.  Fall is the greatest reminder that we all will in beauty fade to winter.  We will all as the gospel song says, “Become fallen leaves that lie scattered on the ground.”  Some people are at their best in fall.  They accept themselves warts and all.  They use their wisdom to help others, they forgive and receive forgiveness.  Fall is about living and preparing to die.   It is about the metamorphosis that happens when we as Paul says in 2 Corinthian’s 5: “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven not made with hands.”

Fall reminds us not only of winter, but also of regeneration.  That not too long from now we will be new.  We will be in a place where roses don’t fade, we will never grow old, and we will be a new creation.  We have hope that even in the winter of our lives we will be held, loved, and transformed.  We can go ahead and enjoy fall.