Pumpkin spice, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin candles, and pumpkin décor! If you’re not a fan of pumpkins, you’d better steer clear of the retail space for the next two months. Pumpkins have taken over!

Fall is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year. I find all of the scents, smells, sounds, and sights of Fall enjoyable. However, living in Arizona does create a bit of a disconnect in my mind. I would like to fully embrace my favorite season but Phoenix won’t give up its grip on Summer.

What about you – do you have a favorite season? And why is that season your favorite? Is it the sights? Smells? Sounds? Or, the memories you associate with that time of year? For me, Fall not only means the wonderful smell of pumpkin but Fall also ushers in sweaters, soup, and football! A combination of those three things is magical to me.

My love for football developed as a way to bond with my Dad while growing up. He was a huge football fan and followed the Washington Huskies and the Seattle Seahawks. There was a period in there where he had season tickets to the Seahawks when they played in the Kingdome. Travelling from our house to watch the game meant a 4-hour car ride there and back. When you add in time for the game itself, it was a full day! Some of the best discussions I had with my dad while growing up took place in the truck as we travelled to or from the games. Football, travel conversations, all of those memories boost Fall’s likeability in my mind.

Seasons also mark the passing of time. We witness the plants that bud in the Spring, flourish in the Summer, are harvested in the Fall, and then lay dormant in the Winter as the cycle is complete. This “season” metaphor is often applied to our lives as well. We talk about what “season” we are in in terms of what we’re doing. My husband and I just entered into the “empty nester season.” It’s unusual not having at least one of our children living under our roof. I miss them but I’m excited for this season as well and for the season they are entering as they begin their lives truly on their own. I wonder what kind of harvest they will reap as they make important decisions now that affect the trajectory of their lives.

 As “middle-aged” becomes a term more often applied to my husband and myself, I suppose we’ve entered into the Fall season of our lives. It’s time to harvest. Have you considered what season you are in? Is it a time for you to harvest? Time to reflect on the bounty of all that you’ve created? As you ponder, can you enjoy all of the riches of your life? Not the material things but the people and the experiences and the hurts that have only made you stronger.

Life is extraordinary and our memories and stories – for all of us – need to be preserved. This journey through Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter is daunting and amazing. Looking back forces us to observe just how far we’ve come and the abundance we’ve created and can tap into all around us. If we share our abundance of wisdom, we can offer guidance to those walking through prior seasons. A violent summer downpour sometimes overtakes even the bright light of summer. However, in the Fall, when the harvest comes, you understand why the rain came down and how those dark days prepared you and strengthened you. You can offer the hope of the next season, the season that you’re now living.