The leaves of the Poplar trees are turning yellow; a hint that soon the hillsides will be filled with color. This coming of fall energizes, readies my eyes to see it all—fills my spirit with the expectation of beauty.
My mind begins to wander. I am ever more aware of this longing…this emptiness…this sehnsucht.
This “God-shaped hole” as I once read C.S. Lewis term it. He was not the first. Pascal and Augustine spoke of this longing in our souls–nothing of this world will fill.
A German word with limited translation. My dictionary simply defines it: yearning.
But it is, oh, so much more, is it not?
When I walk outside and look up at the sky on a starlit autumn night, this sehnsucht soars. I feel His presence. I feel His absence. The abstract of Him, the real-ness…He is there all around me, but I cannot grasp Him.
This—yes, this yearning–consumes me. And it is a beautiful thing.
I seek, and seek, and seek. Knowing full well that this completion has not reached its appointed time. And so I wait. Looking for, and finding, Him in everything. Fall awakens these sleeping hungers. Something about the crispness of the air, the vivid colors of the season…I see more clearly.
Lewis felt it too.
In a 1949 letter to Warfield Firor, an American admirer, Lewis describes the autumn as paradisal, the sort of weather which for some reason excites me much more than spring: cool, cobwebby mornings developing into the mildest sunlight, and exquisite colours in the woods. It always gives me Wanderlust & ‘divine discontent’ and all that.
Wanderlust. Divine discontent. Yes. This is what I feel.
So I must wander. Just a little bit.