There’s something magical about fall….maybe it’s the coolness in the air that seems to speak of the coming change….maybe it’s the deep blue of the autumn sky,…maybe it’s the transformation of summer green leaves into fiery reds and oranges and golden yellows. It’s a magical display of God’s handiwork…a canvas , if you will, for all of His glory to be revealed to us through His creation.
As fall approaches, the magic this year is somewhat eclipsed by the tragedies this year has held. Despite the upheaval our family has experienced this past year, I am warmly reminded of Aaron and Taylor’s love for this time of year. They both loved fall….sometimes for the same reasons…but sometimes for different reasons. Aaron loved the aspects of nature that are markedly changed by the coming of the new season. He would lose himself in creation…embracing the privilege to be one with the beauty surrounding him. The mountains captivated him and it was a place of peace for him…far from the struggles of life and the world itself. It was his escape. The fall colors mesmerized Aaron….hypnotizing him almost into a free state of being. It was almost as if his senses were flooded with the odors of the air and the scenery of the mountains and nature itself…filling his mind with happiness. This was one place where I think he experienced the truth of happiness….Happiness not shrouded in living up to the expectations of others; happiness that wasn’t masked in man’s accomplishments within the working world; happiness that wasn’t obscured by what others perceived you should or should not be. It was a happiness that no one could provide him with, but God’s creation and handiwork provided what others couldn’t provide for him.
Taylor loves many of the same things Aaron loved about Fall. She, too, loves nature and is mesmerized by the beauty of world surrounding her. She also has a passion for the colors of the season, the coolness in the air, and the magic of being in nature. Nature, for Taylor, seems to be the one place, she as well, can be herself. Nature is the safe haven, free from the tug of the world and the expectations placed on her by society. Her loving Golden Retriever, Sammy, has become a part of that sanctuary for her as well. They love to explore nature together….becoming one with the environment God has given us to enjoy and to examine. Taylor and Sammy do that very well together. Pumpkins and all things pumpkin spice in conjunction with boot wearing weather are some of the other reasons Taylor loves this time of year. She also loves the coziness of wearing hoodies and sweaters on the cool autumn days and nights.
Reflecting upon the reasons Aaron and Taylor loved this time of year, I realize they are more similar than different. They shared the same love for the outside and embraced it with the same admiration. As I think on it more, they both embraced not only the love of nature, but have also embraced some the hippieisms of our culture. I never thought from their childhood that I would raise two such compassionate, people loving children that would embrace some aspects of the hippy mindset. I’ve often referred to them as “hippies born out of season”. Despite the negative connotation “hippies” set in motion back in the 6o’s and 70’s, many of them display some very admirable qualities. Most of us want to focus on the undesirable characteristics of those considered to be hippies, but if we open our eyes, there’s often goodness in others that we may see as rebels to mainstream standards set by society.
Now, don’t think that I’m going off on a tangent about politics, or that I’m endorsing any particular group of people; nor am I accepting any belief that earth is our mother. On the other hand, I do believe that God gave us His wondrous creation to care for and to admire. Period. As I have watched my children grow into adulthood, I watched them both develop their own sense of being….and both of them developed a love for nature that could be considered “hippieish”…not an unbalanced love for creation, but one that showed respect for what God had given them to enjoy. One of the greatest qualities that developed in both Aaron and Taylor is an eye for those experiencing adversity. They had an ability to see beyond the cover of the book to the content of the material inside the book. They acquired the capacity to see the brokenness of the inside and were able to see what most of us miss….what’s hidden beneath the smile…what struggles lie beneath laughter….what confusion and chaos lie beneath the life that has it all together. This ability gave them something that many of us don’t have….they had eyes for the hurting. How do I know that? Because I’ve seen the compassion they displayed towards their peers that needed something. Sometimes that something was an ear to listen….sometimes it was a donation to help someone to out of a rough spot….sometimes it was extra tip money…sometimes it was leading someone to Christ….sometimes it was going out of your way to be there for a friend in need. They were given His eyes for the broken-hearted….and they have often acted on it. Hippieish quality? Yes….they were gentle, loving people that supported each other. However, I think Taylor and Aaron were given a little more than that….they were afforded a God given talent to see the brokenness and a heart to feel the needs of others.
What’s the magic here? The magic is that I was allowed to be their mom; that I was allowed to witness their growth and the development of their talents and abilities. The beauty of it all…that I can see how similar Aaron and Taylor were in their values and how they treated others….that some hippie qualities are admirable….we just have to be willing to open our eyes to see the good in others, even if they stretch our thinking in what we’ve always thought. Both Aaron and Taylor have challenged me to see beyond my perceptions to see things from the perspective of others….to see beyond the struggles of others, because we all struggle with something….none of us are above the adversities of others.
Thank you Aaron and Taylor for the magic!