I write this on a morning where the thermometer dipped to 39 degrees. After weeks of unseasonable heat, we are finally nudging into an Ozarks autumn. As I’ve mentioned before, fall is my favorite time of year. Spring is hopeful here in our hills and hollows, with flowering trees reminding us that life does come back after a long winter. Fall, though — with its vibrant colors, apples and harvest festivals welcoming in a slowing of the earth, fallow fields and rest resonates most with me. It is a reminder of the natural rhythm of our earth.
The shadows have already lengthened and, just last week, the darkness began exceeding light a little more each day. We know a long winter lies ahead, but also know life will return once again in the spring. The lesser animals know that by their nature, and are preparing for the inevitable long sleep. As humans, though, we often try and look the other way — or worse yet, face it with dread. How do we face the winter and long nights to come?
Recently, I read a great piece that captured the sentiment that faces us during times of darkness in our lives … both literally and emotionally. Katherine Rundell, a fellow of All Souls College at the University of Oxford in England, wrote: