192. Magnificent Autumn! He comes like a warrior, with the stain of blood upon his brazen mail. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Fall: bright flame before winter’s deadness;
harvest; orange, gold, amber;
cool nights and the smell of fire…
…everything we see is celebrating
one last violently hued hurrah before
the black and white and silence of winter.
~Shauna Niequist

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After last week’s hard freeze the march of fall’s foot soldiers revved up, and now more and more leafy encampments are being set ablaze.  What leafage is still dressed in green regimentals is fading fast to shades of yellow, orange, or hot reds cooled only by the occasional purple hue.  Though rare so far have been the firings of booming “thunder cannons” and the barrages of pelting rain, there have been, indicative fiery, explosions erupting on the eastern horizon at sunrise or westward over the rooftops at sunset forewarning the coming of fall’s final, crushing blitz.  The fallen victims of the earliest skirmishes are already gathering along curbs, littering the ground, and floating where waters collect, and the yet vanquished remaining leafy squadrons have not long before they too shall face their “last, violently hued hurrah.”  All is not as lost as it would seem however; for, despite the ever-increasing volume of casualties and the fact that the winter solstice is closing in, a measure of springtime miracles are already pushing up low and in warm safety under the autumnal warrior’s leafy carnage that’s been ransacked from on high by gusting winds.  Though but skimpily clad seedlings they be now, the deepening roots of larkspur, columbine, and poppies will hold their new growth steadfastly in place enabling them to hang tenaciously to life all winter long under fall’s stricken glory.  How could there be a more supremely, well-designed plan than that or any better a Creator than the Lord who devised such a grand and faithful plan!

Yet I call this to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.”  ~Lamentations 3:21-23  ✝