Hope in the Red and Gold

For years while living in Pakistan and Cairo we had no Autumn. No pumpkins. No apple picking. No smells of apple crisp or pie coming from a hot oven. No crisp fall days, where leaves crunch under foot and life is suspended in a golden, Autumn glow.

I have come to cherish Autumn; to cherish the hope that comes with the reds and golds. I am slowly coming from a place of dreading what’s beyond the Autumn to resting in the wonder of the now.

There is hope in the red and the gold – hope in the falling leaves, hope in the crisp air. There is a consistency to this season that I don’t feel in others. Spring is too elusive; summer can come with disappointments of crushed expectation; winter – well winter just is. But Autumn is consistent in its shorter days and golden looks.

Autumn is where I first learned to create traditions in the United States. Autumn is where my friend Karen taught me about pumpkin carving and apple picking. Autumn is where I learned to not fear what was coming ahead, not dread what hadn’t yet come. Autumn is the season where I grew up as a mom, learned how to be a mom in North America.

I learned about soccer and theatre; about field trips and evening concerts with 4th graders who knew only two notes on their recorders; I learned about volunteering and being the only mom in the parent-teacher organization with a nosepin. It was in Autumn that I learned what it was to be so homesick for a place I could hardly move; in Autumn where I learned the hard lesson of moving from community to being unknown. And then it was in falling leaves that crunched that I learned what it was to heal, to know that there was One who understood homesick better than any other. It was Autumn where I failed and succeeded and failed again as a mom. It was in Autumn that my heart broke and repaired. It was in the red and gold glow that my tears fell and my heart was hurt and heard.

So there is, and always will be, hope in the red and gold.









10 thoughts on “Hope in the Red and Gold

  1. The colors red and gold, falling leaves, changes, brilliance, and dormancy in the world of nature that you describe so well is a reminder that I am now in the autumn of my life. It’s a warm and cozy place to be!


  2. The paradox of Autumn amuses me. Whilst I spend my time figuring out how to add layers of clothing to shelter myself against the Chicago wind and cold, the trees begin to strip down and dance in the wind–an almost-erotic dance–embracing longer nights. In summer the trees feel overstuffed and indulgent–full of leaves. You can hardly see their framework through all the foliage. Autumn begins the strip-tease and seduction of all our senses: smell, taste, touch. Winter lays the trees bare. Spring brings with it a blush of embarrassment as the trees clothe themselves once again…


  3. Wonderful post, Marilyn! While I saw all my travels as “adventures”, it never failed that no matter where in the world we happened to be, Autumn brought an intense homesickness I could not shake until the first snow of winter. And it couldn’t be Autumn just anywhere….it had to be a New England Autumn. Because Fall in Georgia or southern California or Nevada or Germany….just isn’t!
    And yes, like you, I am finally learning not to dread what comes after….long, cold,dark days shut in. There is a gift in that, too.


  4. This is such a beautiful post and so much of it resonates with me. I may not have learned exactly the same lessons as you (as I’m not yet a mom!), but autumn has long been a season of many lessons and changes… But it is also a season that I love very deeply for a whole variety of reasons. Thank you for this post. You often manage to put in words what I am feeling but struggle to express – thank you so very much for that.


  5. For me autumn brings the hope of relief from the stifling summer heat, open windows, fresh air. Spring brings relief from dry bitter cold (at least in states other than Florida. Winter and summer both feel like affronts to my body.


  6. I’m remembering the Autumn afternoons at Eight-Acre Woods on Bliss Hill Road, yes, truly just up from Baptist Corners. The pure gold of the sun shining down through the Maple leaves along the road and the bronzed oak leaves in the yard, grandchildren riding on Caesar, neighbor Carol’s horse. So many memories to thank the Lord for. Those grandchildren are all grown up, some with children of their own, and someone else is living in the house. But the memories are ours forever.
    Love this post, Marilyn. Thank you


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