I used to live for a fast-paced life in a concrete jungle.

I yearned for it.

I always wanted to return to the north, where asphalt and skyscrapers replaced landscapes of trees and mountains…where row houses and high-rise apartments replaced ranch-style homes and mansions…and where having a large backyard was a luxury. Even though I only spent a short time there as a child, I felt like it was my destiny.

I would see people quickly walking the streets like they were all on a mission, and no one was going to keep them from completing it. I wanted to be that determined to get to the next place. I was determined to be that determined.

The city was very symbolic to me. It was a place where I could accomplish everything I ever wanted to accomplish. Each skyscraper represented growth and opportunity. And I saw the open landscapes in the South as places where that growth was stunted.

I never saw growth and opportunity in the grand scheme of things. I only saw the growth of ideas and developments that were man-made. But day by day, I see things a little differently. I think God has been teaching me more and more about growth and opportunity in the seasons of life, and making it all come to life in nature. He’s been allowing me to see that:

– You reap what you sow.

– Growth is a process.

– Patience is a virtue.

– There is an appointed time, place and purpose for everything.

Don’t get me wrong. I still can’t go outside without medication during allergy season. And sitting in the grass too long can makes me itch like I’ve been bathing in poison ivy. But now I can see beyond that and appreciate the beauty nature has to offer.

I see nature with new eyes, especially now that it is fall. I think the scenes of golden and burnt orange leaves hanging from weighted branches and piled high above the wilted grass are a sight to behold. I love the smell of apple cinnamon and the taste of fresh berry and apple cider. And thanks to some good friends, I enjoy going to the pumpkin patch, picking out pumpkins to carve, and decorating my home in rich autumn hues. I see the season of the harvest and thanksgiving. And that is a beautiful time in life, no matter how you look at it.


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