A week ago today one of the top 10 Google searches was “first day of fall 2010.” Who would have thought? Fall arrives right on time each year whether we look for it or not.
A recent piece in the Chicago Tribune claimed that everybody loves autumn. “Some allergy sufferers hate spring,” pointed out columnist Mary Schmich. “Some heat wimps hate summer. Some people hate winter because they can’t stand to shovel snow. Everybody loves autumn.”
Guess I’m not everybody then. I’ve never been fond of fall. I don’t welcome the waning of light, the chill of autumn evenings, the fading of flowers that were brilliant under the summer sun. Fall has always seemed like an ending more than a beginning.
It’s lovely to be wrong.
This past Saturday I stood beneath maple trees in the Boston Public Garden as our niece and her fiancé repeated their wedding vows. This first Saturday of fall, the bride’s clergyman-father reminded those gathered, was truly a gift from the One who loves us all. The air had the tang of apple cider warmed to room temperature. The bride, slim and elegant in a column of champagne silk, stood facing the groom, his blue eyes mirroring the clear New England sky. A single leaf drifted down.
“Do you purpose in your hearts and minds to live together in a fashion consistent with God’s design for marriage?”
“Do you purpose to establish open, honest, and loving communication?”
“Do you purpose to love one another, honor one another, and be faithful to one another in times of personal blessing as well as personal need?”
We do, the couple responded. We do, we do, we do.
And they will.
At the wedding dinner that evening relatives sat together catching up on family news. But when the music started, both families were out on the dance floor. I sidled over to the DJ and whispered a request. The downbeat began, and as the Pointer Sisters belted out “We are Family” my brother-in-law started a conga line.
A light mist rose over the Charles River. The autumn air cooled and the light faded, but indoors there was laughter, candlelight, and the birth of new beginnings.
And we danced in celebration nearly till midnight.