The late September sun is painting the leaves with a golden light as it sinks beneath the rim of the world. Already the shadows of the sunset have begun to climb the hill, and work their way slowly up towards our house. In ten minutes it will all be dark, but for this brief moment I stand on the front porch and watch as the sunlight sets the treetops ablaze with color. Fall can be the most beautiful of all seasons, and the one that makes our heart ache more than any other.
The long slow death march of late winter is still too far away to worry about, and the sweltering cicada filled afternoons of summer have finally passed. Now is the season of color, and light. The season of crisp apples, and cold cheeks, of seeing your breath billow before you for the first time.
As evening descends upon the front porch I feel the cold fingers of the night tickle my arms, and neck. Chills never feel so good as they do at the start of autumn. This is the time to pull on a favorite sweatshirt, or snuggle deep in a warm, and comfy bed. Even Maggie the Wonderdog, and the Indomitable Moxie are pleased to find a warm lap to snuggle in.
When the sun has set, and I have begun to shiver, it will be time to sit beneath the golden cone of lamp light, and open up a book. The windows closed against the chill, the house still warmed by the afternoon sun, this is my fortress of solitude. This is the one place I can come to again, and again to forget the petty distractions of such important words as “work” and “responsibility.”
The dogs will curl beside me, and I will peer down at the little words of black ink, stamped upon the creamy texture of the pages, and let my imagination wander unshackled through the meadows of my mind.
There was a time when I feared the silence. A time when I sought noise, and music, to hold back the fear and doubts that solitude coaxed out of the shadows. Not anymore. Now I embrace the stillness, and let it fill the empty spaces of my day until all of life is sunken beneath its amniotic warmth.
Sitting in my chair, the only sound is the audible ringing in my ears, so constant and unchanging I forget it is there. The world shrinks to the edge of the lamplight, and though the pages turn, and the times passes, I don’t recall having read a word. Stories flicker across the room like the light of a magic lantern.
As Elijah found, God comes not with a roar, but a whisper.