“How’s the temp?” I yelled outside as my husband lit the grill to prep for dinner. “Chilly, but great.” That was all the encouragement I needed to bundle in my housecoat, pour a glass of red, and head outside.

63 degrees and sitting under swaying trees looks a lot different now than it did five months ago. The green has turned into gradients of yellow and the leaves have altogether thinned. But the trees are still standing. And so am I.

In a lot of ways it feels like I’ve been watching the clock and waiting for fall’s arrival. Now that it’s here, well, the weird irony of coming alive when everything else seems to die is not lost on me. It’s my season and I am here for all of it.

As a companion to the anticipatory patterns life has served lately, October has hosted a series of hurry up and waits. While November is bursting at the seams with every opportunity that’s presented itself, December waits in the wings as a quiet respite. But that is then. This is now.

Is it just me or does earth just feel heavier lately? Everywhere I turn, people are hurting, people are sick, people are angry and grieving. It seems we’re all in our own waiting room of some sort. The heaviness is heartbreak toting questions… but hope seems to shine through where renewal in the beauty of a new season seems to say, “Relax, this is temporary.”

I was so sad to read the news of singer TobyMac’s 21-year old son who passed unexpectedly. His tribute struck me:

“My wife and I would want the world to know this… We don’t follow God because we have some sort of under the table deal with Him, like we’ll follow you if you bless us. We follow God because we love Him. It’s our honor. He is the God of the hills and the valleys. And He is beautiful above all things.”

Hills and valleys.

Seconds and hours.

Tossing in the waves, I am anchored.

As a backyard host of crickets wind down the day with their song, the only thing illuminating my words are string lights outlining our deck. Since I first read about centering prayer in The Sacred Enneagram, my brain keeps landing and meditating on peace. In moments like these, I feel peace is all around us waiting to be claimed. If we would only slow down to be still and know.