The Invitation of Fall

What is it about fall?

Fall has always been my favorite season. Before the pumpkin spice latte was created, before leggings as pants were a thing, before every end cap at Trader Joe's was brimming with pumpkin flavored everything (which I highly appreciate by the way), I've always highly anticipated fall. When I was 6 I dedicated a whole corner of my room to everything fall related- books, stuffed animals, decorations, the whole deal.

I don't consider myself to have that great of a memory. Most moments I believe I just remember because I've seen pictures of them. But fall is different- I remember the most moments from the fall that I don't have any pictures of. When I feel the crisp Virginia breeze I think of my family picking me up early from school at recess to spend time playing in the leaves with our out of town friends. I can smell the pumpkin chocolate chip bread my mom would bake in the kitchen. I can feel my allergies kick in from when the fam would go to a fall festival and I would play in the haystacks and slide down the slides. I can remember the excitement of going apple picking and dad helping me climb the trees to get the apples that hadn't yet fallen, and then going to the pumpkin patch at the orchard.

In high school, it meant competition season for cheerleading and football games second to that. Pretty much everything second to that. Friday nights were spent at team dinners and then cheering on the tracks throughout the chilly evenings when the parents would bring us hot chocolate. Saturday mornings consisted of early practices and bus rides to competitions. Homecoming days we'd cheer in the town parade and pass everyone dressed warmly in black and red holding their Starbucks drinks and enjoying gathering together. And after the football game we'd race to one of the girls houses to try to look decent so we could take pictures with our dates before the homecoming dance.

In college, we made the best of our "falls" in Columbia. Saturdays meant Gamecock football tailgates, and Sunday mornings meant Drip coffee (we upgraded from Starbucks at this point in life) before- and sometimes after- church. We'd bake something pumpkin in the afternoon, drink hot cider and try not to get caught for burning our pumpkin candles in the sorority house. We'd gather for fall pictures on the Horseshoe or all hop in the car to go hiking in Greenville. Many weekends were spent on retreats in the mountains making smores, hanging out in enos and being poured into by others.

In the post-grad life, I'm optimistic the fall season will be just as special. With a lovely group of friends just as giddy about fall as I am, many fall recipes already being concocted up in our home, and all the seasonal candles flowing into Anthro- I'm excited to see what this next chapter of life will bring.

Fall is an invitation. Its events create things to do with the people you love. It invites families together. It invites your creativity to flow in the kitchen experimenting with the pumpkin, sweet potato and butternut squash. It invites the nostalgia of whipping up old family recipes. It justifies a slower pace than the constant hustle, and invites you to restfully flutter with the idea of hibernation. It inspires you to explore and take in the beauty of the leaves, the cooler air invites you to spend more time outside and heightens your appreciation of the world the Creator designed. The mundane becomes exciting. God opens our eyes to some aspects of life we miss in the every day. We reminisce about old memories while creating new ones.

I hope that we can all take advantage of the invitation fall extends to us this year, and make the sweetest memories to enjoy for years to come. Happy fall, y'all!

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