Image taken by me, Oct. 2011, Aylmer, QC
I snapped this picture on my way home after work on Friday afternoon. I know there won't be many more afternoons like this, so I'm glad I could capture it.
Fall is such a transient season. In the blink of an eye, it will change our summer into winter. I have always been rather partial to it - to me, it's like Mother Nature has been humble and modest all year long, and then when Fall comes around she seems to say, "to hell with it," and lets her hair hang down in a festival of colours.
The sermon this Thanksgiving Sunday was about being thankful when it is often difficult. I try to write the things for which I am thankful every week, and I always find something cheerful to be thankful for. But what about the moments that aren't cheerful? Can we still be thankful then? It's the ability to be thankful in moments of uncertainty and distress that show the mark of a truly exceptional individual. I'm not there yet.
When I look back over the year, I can definitely see moments when I was in the dark valley staring up at a pretty big hill. It was so hard to be thankful at that moment. Looking back, I can appreciate the lessons I learned, but that is being thankful now for a lesson learned in the past - not being thankful in the midst of uncertainty.
I think I've learned that, like Mother Nature, in our moments of bounty and fruitful growth, we must be humbly and modestly thankful. We almost have to keep our thankfulness and gratitude in check so that when we're in the autumn moments of our lives, when things are transient and unpredictable, we have the a store of gratitude to fall back on. We can be in those uncertain moments and say, "to hell with it," and let our hair down and take the wild gambles.
We can be thankful for the uncertainty because life has taught us that it makes for a great lesson learned once you're standing on top of the hill, looking out over a beautiful, colourful vista. I wouldn't have taken that picture of the river if I hadn't been in a dark valley only a few months before, and said, "to hell with it," and let my hair down.