autumn: a child’s eye view of the season

autumn - a child's eye view of the season (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

As we enter a new season, I’ve been wondering: what if we tried to see the onset of autumn through the eyes of a child? Or the beginning of any new season of life, perhaps. How might we react or sense it differently?

I’m usually inclined to look at the onset of autumn through rather wary, SAD-afflicted adult eyes, even as I try to enjoy any glints of ochre, russet, burnt umber and gold I can find. What if God intends us to go through our days with childlike trust, hope, wonder, and expectation in our hearts, no matter what our actual circumstances are? 

“Childlike surrender and trust, I believe, is the defining spirit of authentic discipleship.” — Brennan Manning

To a child

Autumn may speak
of death and decay
to us, but to a child
it’s an invitation

to throw themselves down
and roll around on any
leaf-carpeted ground.

Autumn might signal
summer’s ending
but to a child it’s a time
of returning to school,

new shoes, equipment and clothes,
friendships rekindled, joyful
reunions, and fresh beginnings.

Autumn has many
moments of mists,
and moods we prefer
not to have to battle through,

but to a child
the veil becomes
a different kind of curtain,
mysterious, uncertain.

Autumn might suggest
a season of falls,
of decline and loss
of capacity, but to a child

it speaks of tumbling
deliberately onto chilly grass
and crunchy leaves.

Autumn hints at mellow
fruitfulness now being passed
its best, as darkness
increases and living things

are dying, but to a child
it’s just another day closer
to anticipated Christmas bliss.

Autumn brings increasing
cold, wind and sleety rain,
as trees become denuded

and winter creeps in,
but to a child each change
in the weather is just

another new way
of experiencing, touching,
tasting, seeing, and doing.
© joylenton

autumn - to a child poem excerpt (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

“I think that’s the true litmus test for someone who has become closer to Jesus: their heart is more loving, accepting, childlike, less believing that they have all the answers and more believing in Him.” — Donald Miller

It can be a hard calling and a tough surrender to trust God for better or be able to sense beauty and joy more than we sense the darkness, hardship and pain. It can be difficult to pay more attention to the good, can’t it? Especially when pain shouts so loud it seems to drown out all else.

But joy still exists in every dark moment we go through, and it’s so worthwhile to try to be more childlike by awakening to the joy hidden in plain sight. I’m inspired by my grandson’s attitude and I’m willing to try. How about you, my friend? 

PS: You might be interested in: 50 Autumn activities for parents and kids, plus an inspiring creative guide to surviving the winter months by Emma Mitchell or her nature remedy book to help with SAD symptoms. 🙂 ❤

autumn - child sitting in leaves - it is so worthwhile quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

6 thoughts on “autumn: a child’s eye view of the season

  1. Dear Joy,
    Oh what precious thoughts and photos!! Those young ones do have such joy in these changing seasons. Even when they start to get a little older and they remember what the changing seasons mean, they still look to it all with such an eagerness instead of the dread that I sometimes find myself feeling. I so understand this: “It can be difficult to pay more attention to the good, can’t it? Especially when pain shouts so loud it seems to drown out all else.” But I join you in looking for the childlike wonders in our days. May I open my heart to receive a different perspective for what falls around me. Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts today, in a dark and gloomy day here. May you feel such an uplift and blessing in your day across the pond there! Hugs, love and prayers for you dear sister. xoxo.

    • Dear Bettie, yes, it’s so endearing and inspiring to see how young ones live with eager expectation in their hearts and open wonder in their eyes as they react to the world around them. If only we could emulate that and recapture more of a sense of joy in how we live our lives, rather than feeling burdened by what causes dread and worries us instead! Let’s seek to encourage one another in adopting a greater sense of awe and wonder, yes?

      I love how your latest post shares the surprising joy found in small encounters. Thank you for your blessings and prayers. Here the skies are mostly grey and heavy with rain but I am thankful for each tiny glimpse of sunlit brightness that occurs. Small mercies, right?! Much love, hugs and prayers for you, too, dear sister and precious friend. xoxo ❤️

    • You’re welcome, Shirley. I think that having a fresh perspective can often make more of a difference than we might realise. It certainly helped lift me out of my usual autumnal slough of despond to write this post… 😉❤️

  2. “What if God intends us to go through our days with childlike trust, hope, wonder, and expectation in our hearts, no matter what our actual circumstances are?” Indeed He does, sweet Joy! But that doesn’t make it easy. Thankfully, He is there to encourage, strengthen, and, when necessary, carry us! Is this your sweet grandson in the pictures? What a blessing! I’m soaking up every bit of golden October sunshine I can. I dislike the darkness and winter months as well. Meditating through the Advent season always helps. And the reminder that Light always follows darkness. Blessings on your week, dear one.

    • I agree, June, it’s definitely more of a challenge to view life that way when we are adults. Though thankfully, we are helped, just like you said. Yes, it’s my grandson in the pictures. He loves being outdoors! I do, too, even if I’m not up to rolling around in the leaves! I’m glad you’ve got “golden October sunshine” because every hint of it assists with lifting our mood and hearts when we struggle with the darkness and wintry months. I love your suggestion and reminder of how best to direct our thoughts during Advent. That practice helps me as well. And I adore the beautiful watercolour cards you’ve offered to Chronic Joy Ministry! What a joy to see them there, but such a shame they’re not available in the UK. Keep on painting, dear friend, and looking for the Light that follows and overcomes the darkness. Blessings and love. xo 😊❤️

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