Autumn has always been my most favourite of all the seasons. Even though it’s a time where the trees shed their leaves, the air gets cooler and the beauty and heat of the summer starts to fade, beauty takes on another form in Autumn. It’s a time of change, a time for new beginnings, for beauty to be shown through autumnal colours, ready for new growth in the Spring. It’s where nature slumbers, resting until they once again appear and bloom, showing the breathtaking beauty of God’s wonderful creation.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8.
David and I recently took another trip to Ilam Park in the Peak District. The last time we went there together was for our engagement photos back in August. It was so lovely to see all the autumnal colours, the various shades of red, brown, yellow and orange, to walk amongst all of the fallen leaves and to breathe in that fresh cool Autumn air, whilst feeling cosy wrapped in extra layers.
In this post we are sharing 5 ways to connect with and embrace nature this Autumn; to slow down, take time out, rest, and to experience beauty in new and different ways.
1. Get outside this autumn
As much as it’s lovely to be able to enjoy the beautiful autumn colours from your window, especially when it’s raining, nothing beats getting outside. Autumn really does have something to stimulate all the senses, and you can’t fully take advantage of that from inside, however cosy it might be.
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12 NIV
2. Take an autumn leaf photo
I think it’s probably Instagram which made this popular, but there’s little to evoke our very human connection to autumn more, than choosing a leaf and holding it in front of your camera or phone. It’s a great chance to look at the leaves on the ground a little more closely, to really appreciate their different shapes, textures and colours. You can choose a favourite leaf for your photo, and why not save it as a special memory?
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.” Psalms 1:3 NIV
3. Hold on to nature
As I said above, autumn has something to stimulate all our senses. The thing we associate most with this season is the beautiful golden colours, the oranges, the reds and the browns as the leaves change. Autumn is the season when the old is shed to make way for the new. In a world which changes so fast, nature is a constant we can all hold onto. What better way than to actually go out and touch it. Feel the leaves underfoot, the dew on the grass, the first frost on the car windscreen, and the rain on your face.
“‘But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:7-10 NIV
4. Take a deep breath
We live in a fast-paced world with little time to pause and breathe. As W.H. Davies wrote in his poem, Leisure:
‘What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.’
We all need to take more time to stand and stare, to just ‘bed, and being in nature and taking a long deep breath can bring so much satisfaction. Not only does the fresh air revitalise and refresh us, but it allows us to fully absorb the evocative autumn scents.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ezekiel 37:5 NIV
5. Be still and listen
As Christian Strover’s hymn reads:
‘Have you heard the raindrops drumming on the roof tops?
Have you heard the raindrops dripping on the ground?
Have you heard the raindrops splashing in the streams
and running to the rivers all around?’
We’re used to noise around us almost constantly, but how often do we actually stop and listen to the sounds of nature around us? Why not listen to the leaves gently falling from the trees, and the scrunch of them underfoot? Then there’s the magical sound of the rain gently falling as darkness falls.
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” Psalms 46:10 NIV
How are you connecting with nature this Autumn?