Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Autumn Treasures

Apple Dumplings by Johnny
Through the rich colors and flavors of Autumn, God offers us a beautiful closure to Summer. Just saying the word “Autumn” evokes the yummy taste of hot chocolate at a chilly Friday night football game, hot apple dumplings for supper, and the pleasant whiff of smoke from a neighbor’s toasty wood-burning stove.

At this time of year I frequent the local produce farms. I love the many-hued flowers and the diversity of both edible and decorative produce. Seasonal fruits, especially apples, tumble from overly-filled baskets. Clever crafters show off innovative house and yard d├ęcor. Tasting tables scattered throughout the stores tempt the pallet with samples of new varieties of fruits and vegetables, salsas and dips, and sweets that can be made from produce sold at the farms.

One of my favorite places is Benders Potato and Produce Barn and petting farm here in Chambersburg. Last week I took each of my toddler charges to see the pumpkins. The reactions of the kids were as diverse as the produce.

Michelle couldn’t wait to pick out a pumpkin—she insisted on holding it while we meandered over the grounds. Although I purchased a cup of chopped veggies to feed the goats, the overly enthusiastic buck frightened her; she preferred to hug her pumpkin instead. Later, her mom thanked me for the pumpkin, sharing how much the family enjoyed the stew she prepared from it. I wondered how she wrestled the pumpkin away from her daughter. J

Micah, on the other hand, wanted the stroller as close to the goat pen as possible so he could feed the animals himself. He giggled when they sucked or nibbled on his fingers. Showing the goats his empty hands and shaking his head with regret, he said, “All gone,” after they had eaten all the veggies. However, when we went over to choose a pumpkin, he flat out refused to take one! No matter what size or color or shape I showed him, he wanted nothing to do with pumpkins.

Pumpkins by Libraryman
Just like God fashions snowflakes, He makes no two pumpkins exactly alike. No two falling maple leaves are either. And we all have discovered that no two people, whether kids or adults, are utterly and completely the same.

And that's what makes each of us special. Only God is that creative. He made us what we are and loves us with unconditional love. Even more than we delight in picking up unusually beautiful Autumn leaves or choosing a distinctive pumpkin, God cherishes each of us as His unique treasure.

I thank Him for you, my friend. You are loved by the God who made this brilliant season of the year. As you gaze at the beauty around you, may you see the evidence of His presence. As you look in the mirror, may you be assured of His love.

©2012 Pamela D. Williams