It's almost here. Lydia can smell it in the air.
Prelude to Autumn
Her pen flowed smoothly across the page as Lydia scrawled one more note. With two days till Sunday, her lesson for the children’s Sunday school was nearly ready. Looking over the lesson again, she shook her head, the corner of her mouth tilting up in a smile. There was a saying that a teacher learns just as much, if not more, than her students, and in her case it was true. The story she was sharing from the Old Testament was one she hadn’t even heard of till this week; not that she’d spent much time in that half of the Bible, anyway. Lydia hoped the ten- to- twelve-year-olds she taught would take in even half of what she was learning about Solomon’s son and the splitting of Israel into the kingdoms of Judah and Israel
Seeing the time on the digital clock on her bedside bookcase/nightstand, Lydia decided it was time for a break. She crawled off the bed and stretched, ready for dinner. Moving to the windows, she noticed that daylight was falling, opened the window with no screen and stuck her head outside. After a record blisteringly hot summer, the evenings and early mornings were finally beginning to cool off. It was Labor Day weekend and Lydia was beyond relieved in the change of temperature. She could feel the cool air on her face and took a deep breath. Her eyes widened in surprise. Was it really? She leaned farther out the window and took another deep breath.
Oh, Lord, bless you!
Dinner would wait. Ten seconds later, Lydia was outside in her favorite pink and brown camp chair under the big black walnut tree in her family’s front lawn, her notebook and pen in hand, Bible in her lap. But she wouldn’t use them just yet. She sat breathing in the air that delightfully tingled her nostrils like only crisp autumn air could do. And in just a couple of weeks, the crispness wouldn’t just be here in the evening. It would stay until the first snowfall.
After several minutes, Lydia flipped open her notebook and began to write.
After a seemingly-unending summer heat, at long last I can smell it, almost taste it. The air is just beginning to feel and smell crisp in the evenings. There’s a slight bite in the air and the inside of my nose tingles as I breathe deeply. Very soon, we’ll see the trees turn red, gold, sometimes even purple or other colors before finally turning brown. They’ll be such a beautiful, majestic sight. (I need to remember to have the camera ready.) Soon we’ll hear the crisp crinkle of fallen leaves on the ground.
Her pen stilled as her thoughts ran out. Looking around the yard, Lydia wondered how hard it would be to convince her siblings to pull out the tent and sleep out here tonight. She laughed once, and began to write again.
My heart craves this time of year. I didn’t realize that until just now, when it tugged me outside to sit for a few minutes, writing and breathing. I brought my scriptures out, too, but haven’t even cracked the cover. I don’t think I would have been able to concentrate on the words, anyway. I’d just be listening and breathing, taking in the approach of autumn, the best time of year; of fallen leaves and pumpkins, corn mazes and bonfires, of a beautiful night sky. God must have created autumn as a special blessing for his children. Especially this child, for which I will be ever grateful. Will heaven feel like autumn?*
It was still too light out to see any stars, but at least the moon was up. Darn it that she didn’t have one of those cameras that the professional photographers used. She wasn’t even close to affording one yet. She would still pleasantly work with her family’s aging digital camera that had been dropped several times yet remarkably still worked.
But someday she’d be known for her beautiful autumn pictures that captured the essence of the season.
The front door opened, and her mother’s voice floated out to her. “There you are. It’s time to start making dinner.”
“Be right there,” Lydia called back.
As she rose, Lydia took one more deep breath, letting the air send a thrill through her whole body. She’d sleep with the fan off and the windows open tonight for the first time since June.
word count: 740
*What Lydia writes is an edited version of an actual blog post of mine.