Playdates with God: Autumn Longing

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Jeff and I ran away to Lexington together this weekend. It was a quick overnight, one we traditionally make on black Friday to do some holiday shopping. But this year, we will have our nest full again over Thanksgiving week, so we made the break for Kentucky early.

My husband and I always have fun exploring new places, but it wasn’t our time in the city that sung God’s sweet song to me. Driving through the Kentucky farmland in the autumn, new music tickling my ear, the beauty of skeletal trees whispering austerity to my spirit … this is where God came to me this weekend. And I sat dumbstruck in the passenger seat.

I always turn to C.S. Lewis as my companion during this season. He captures the longing of autumn so articulately. In my book I talk about how he grasped onto the word sehnsucht—that German word with no real English equivalent encapsulating a longing for home, a homesickness for a place we’ve never been. Lewis famously adored autumn as a time of awakening, a season where joy and sorrow hold hands to reveal to us that we were made for something more.

In the fall I am always filled with a sense of expectation—the hope that something wonderful, something life-transforming is about to happen. I go to bed each day in disappointment, wondering what is this churning inside of me? I should be well familiar with this by now, I wrote a book about it, for Pete’s sake. But life makes no exceptions for slow learners and my memory is surprisingly short. I mistake this feeling as pointing me toward something tangible, but I learn over and over and over again it is the feeling itself that stirs my awareness of God inside of me.

Lewis says it like this, “All joy (as distinct from mere pleasure, still more amusement) emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings.”

This wanting, this longing, how sweetly it fills my spirit! This sense of expectation I carry with me reminds me that most of the time when wonderful things happen, they happen slowly. No sudden reveal, rather, a slow awakening like a flower opening to the morning sun.

on the bright wing
of morning
I touch the hem
of dawn;
soar through stardust
and dew as light
spreads like
spilled milk, slowly
blinding the eyes
of heaven, light
upon light,
trembling like
a bird preparing
for flight. my body
blooms until all
the sky and I are
one diaphanous
blue wing.

Every Monday I share one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find God and know joy. Click on the button below to add your link. I try to visit a few of your stories every week, so if you are a new visitor, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can welcome you. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us.

 

Laura Boggess

Comments

  1. says

    “Our best havings are wantings.” This is good.

    Fall is interesting — it’s a slow dance. Sometimes the snow comes early, but then the colors push back. “We’re not ready yet,” and the Old Man retreats.

    Thanks for the visuals!

  2. says

    Oh, my goodness that poem, Laura! That was absolutely delicious. ANd trust me…I love to write poetry (I am no great poet, I know) BUT I have a hard time enjoying and understanding much poetry i read ! lol All that to say..I loved this…of course I will need to look up diaphanous to grasp better (this I don’t mind at all!) I love one or two words that send me scurrying to the dictionary. I dislike when I read a poem and have the sense that I am completely in the dark…

    Hope you are well. I so relate to your thoughts on this post as well. C.S. Lewis and Oswald Chambers…two who have so enriched my life by their words.

  3. says

    I mis-remember things I know, too – maybe that’s why we are to sharpen each other – and your words describe fall so poignantly beautiful – a hope and longing season that is deep. Shalom, Laura – thank you for sharing what God gives you!

    Maryleigh

    • says

      Nature tells us so much in the fall, doesn’t it? The shedding of the excess. The preparation for the long nap … It just awakens something deep in my spirit. Nice to hear from you, M.!

  4. says

    I love the autumn, although I live in Southern CA and miss this season! Your words bring a longing, stir the sense in my own life of something churning ! Beautiful post and love CS Lewis..the word ‘Diaphonus’ is one to dwell on today! Aren’t we all longing for home even when we have a ‘home’..Lovely post!

  5. says

    What a beautiful perspective on autumn from C.S Lewis, and what a glorious poem it prompted from you, Laura! Gorgeous imagery that will stay with me through our rather dull and grey autumnal days. Thank you! 🙂 x

    • says

      Thank you, Joy. It has been quite gray here lately too. But the sky in the fall … it changes so quickly and fills with the most amazing color. I know you will find beauty wherever you are, freind.

  6. says

    I loved that part about sehnsucht in your book. It seemed to answer a question I didn’t know I had asked.

    I’m getting ready to read it from the beginning again.

    May Thanksgiving be for you one of those days when time feels suspended.
    Blessings.

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