Spring is the invitation, the flirting, the promise.
Summer is the party, the lively, the verdant.
And fall… fall is the grand finale, the last hurrah, the goodbye kiss.
Fall is the brunch before you say goodbye, everyone lingering over empty coffee mugs with heart overflowing, no one wanting to walk out the door and drive away. Fall is the gathering, the drawing close, the remembering. Fall is the whisper that winter is on the horizon, the subtle reminder of the wait ahead.
I’m not very good at waiting. I don’t mind waiting at a stoplight, and I’m usually the one being passed because I’m going under the speed limit, but in the big things I don’t like to wait. I get so frustrated with myself when I struggle with the same issue time and time again. This past weekend, I took a huge step forward in my struggle with perfectionism, a victory, a turning point. But last night something tiny, completely insignificant threatened to push me back. I have to remind myself that victory isn’t a destination. It’s a journey and there’s waiting on that journey. We cycle through seasons and we cycle through our faith journey. Spring, summer, fall, winter. Growth, abundance, harvest and wait.
I have wondered before why fall is deemed harvest time. The selection of veggies and produce seems much larger in the summer. But in summer we think the bounty will never end, and by fall we have come to grip with the reality that winter is coming. The wait is upon us. Fall is the time to prepare for the wait, to remember the abundance and give thanks for the growth.
Last week, we had soup every night for dinner, roasted tomato basil and roasted potato leek. I lit my favorite Tyler candle, turned on Mumford and Sons (my hubby has made me a big fan) and chopped tomatoes and onions one night, potatoes and leeks another. I laid the vegetables out on the stone pan, liberally drizzled olive oil and scattered sea salt and fresh cracked pepper on top.
My answer to almost every veggie is to roast it. Tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts. If in doubt, turn your oven up high and roast it. The sizzling heat and long cook time bring out the intrinsic flavors of the vegetable, highlighting nuances that are lost when sauteing or boiling.
After the vegetables were roasted, skins bursting, I slid them into my Le Creuset, adding some chicken stock and pureeing all that goodness until it was creamy and smooth. I sliced fresh rosemary bread, piled creamy Brie on top and popped the pan in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese bubbled down the sides of the crusty bread.
As the leaves begin to change color and the air gets that perfect chill, I feel a little like those tomatoes and potatoes, cut open and exposed, vulnerable and ready to change. The transformation is slow and, at times, I feel the heat blasting away my insecurities and fears. But somehow the heat doesn’t burn. Instead, God uses that heat, my struggles, to create in me the person He made me to be. There is certainly more waiting, more winter in the future. But, first is fall. A brilliant reminder to prepare my heart for the wait, remember the abundance and give thanks for my growth.