The summer has passed by so quickly, and the autumn has come. There's always so much to do around the summer cottage at this time of the year. Have to repair the cottage for the winter, and so many leaves have fallen down from those trees. All around the autumnal spectrum of colours is lying on the ground. Those leaves will make a rather big pile of compost. High quality mulch for the vegetable garden. We have picked up tasty carrots, potatos and cucumbers during the years. It's so fascinating to monitor this change of the seasons.

I have to sit down on these stairs to think about it. It leaped to my mind that the same principle can be applied to the course of life of humans here on earth. Here in the nature the seasons change and go on time after time, but humans have this one and only circle. Looking at a mirror you see a wrinkled face, grey hair and moustache. Sure sign of the autumn being at hand. The pulse of life is furtively getting slower. Soon a man is stripped naked as a tree that had dropped leaves. Then the winter comes, and the nature sort of dies, or falls in lethargy.

People have pondered this same thing through the ages. Anyway, the writer of proverbs expressed these words to us all: "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them"— before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it." (Ecc. 12:1-3,7)

There hasn't been big autumn storms this year. All the trees are still standing there in the forest, neither has this cottage suffered any damages. It's good to be prepared for the winter under good weather conditions. I just wonder why the winter takes so many in surprise, a year after another. It seem that this forgetfulness or dementia or whatever it is, concerns drivers especially. They don't understand to drive according to the road conditions. Sometimes they even forget to put on studded tires. It reminds me that the same forgetfulness or downright indifference bothers people in general. They do not care at all what the winter will bring.

Fortunatelly me and my wife came in the faith years ago. We don't have to worry anymore what the winter will bring. We both got proper winter clothing with maintenance instructions: "Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh." (Rom. 13:13,14) It might be that either or both of us will be hospitalized for years because of illness or decrepitude. One of us might leave this life before the other.

Fortunatelly we have hope for better and lasting: "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" "Yes, Lord," she replied, "I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world." (John 11:21-27)

It's so nice sitting here with peaceful mind. Time runs forward so rapidly. I feel pitty for those who have no hope. Inevitably their time is running out. For us it's not running out. Even if we'd live as long as Methuselah we had lived less than a split of second. Realizing this makes you mind peaceful and serene. What do you think?

With autumnal greeting
J. P.

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