We need to slow down and appreciate autumn

Autumn is here, but has anyone really noticed?

The weather is cool enough for pants but still warm enough for shorts.

The blue skies and the shining sun.

The silver moon and the cool wind. Fall is in full swing.

The vibrant yellows, oranges and reds paint Michigan like a piece of art by Monet or Vincent van Gogh.

The colors, the breeze, the sun, the white clouds, they all coalesce into a perfect season: autumn.

It’s easy for us in today’s fast-paced world to find ourselves so worried about the next appointment or class we must attend as we speed down the road.

We don’t appreciate the simplicity of the blue sky or the purity of the sun’s rays.

We ensconce ourselves in our bedrooms as we sit on our phones all evening.

The shadows shift and the sun disappears and the day ends.

When walking around outdoors on- campus, I find myself staring down at my phone when I could be enjoying the autumn weather in its prime.

When I force myself to turn off the phone and look around at the world around me, I achieve a deeper appreciation for God’s marvelous creation.

I find myself incredibly grateful to have my five senses.

I appreciate the sights of autumn and the colors it shares.

I hear the birds and the running fountains.

I feel the cool breeze. I smell the flowers and leaves.

I taste the apple cider. I look up mesmerized at the stars and the silvery moon.

I count my blessings because I know there are those out there without sight, without hearing, without smell: things most of us take for granted.

But it all comes and goes so quickly. The leaves seem to change colors and fall on the same day.

A month ago, summer was boasting its heat and green leaves.

A month from now, the trees will be bare and snow will be falling from the sky.

We have but a few good weeks of autumn’s glory, and by the time Halloween rolls around it will be cold and rainy as it is every year.

So let’s take a breath. Let’s take a step back.

Let’s look at the world around us and focus on things we never seem to focus on.

Admire the red tree.

Admire the white clouds and the night sky.

The moon, the stars, the rainbow that arches over the horizon after an evening rain.

Let’s admire the farm fields and the invisible sensation of the wind as it blows in the evening.

As human beings we find ourselves so focused on our habits and lifestyles.

We take the same roads to work every day and the same routine path back home.

We eat the same packed lunch.

We wake up and go to sleep at the same time.

Everything is so precisely timed and planned out already.

Our routines keep us sane, but stepping out of our box for a moment or two will expose us to a beauty that has always existed but never been understood or appreciated.

Like the houses on a busy road, we know they’re there as we drive by but we never really stopped to look at them on our morning commute.

We think we’ve seen everything, that autumn is nothing special.

The same thing happens every year. We’re sad summer has come and gone so fast.

The leaves are a great annoyance anyway.

They create more work for us and get stuck under our windshield wipers.

But each season offers its own beauty and nuance.

Autumn is the most colorful, the most calming, the most serene and heavenly. The best part is that appreciating it doesn’t cost a dime.

It is indeed true that the best things in life are free.

The moon, the stars, the trees, the flowers, the birds, even the grass is a sight for all to admire, all to enjoy.

So let’s step outside of our routine, outside of our carefully planned lives.

It doesn’t take long to pause and enjoy the natural world we often let slip by.

Let’s embrace the psychogeography of our structured environments and wander off that stone path.

What’s preventing us from stepping off the guided cement path and onto the cool grass?

Let’s view the world from a new lens.

It is a beauty a camera cannot capture. It is a sensation a video game fails to replace.

It is something so many of us are blind to when we have perfect vision.

This article will only remain relevant for a few weeks, for soon the trees will be bare and the weather bitter cold.

So keep this in mind as October marches on.

Come November, the winter weather will be upon us, and then it will be too late.

In a fleeting moment, autumn will be gone and the world will become cold, gray and white.

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