The memories of fall coming to the Ozark hills around Ava, Missouri are just as vivid to me today after more than eighty years ago.
Autumn, even the name is like the fragrance and splashes of color it brings with it. Autumn is like a little girl dancing with the wind. Kissing the leaves on trees with colors of red, yellow, orange and bronze. Leaving the hills with colors touched by the Master’s hand. October brings warm, sunny days. Charging the children with energy as they travel the trails leading to school on cool, frosty mornings. Running, laughing and chattering with a musical sound only children can make.
October prepares the hills for winter, hugging them with soft brown leaves like a blanket. Blowing a soft breeze filled with fragrance of camper’s smoke coming from campfires and home. October opens its doors to November as it continues to carpet the earth with brown leaves for winter snow and cold.
Some of the paths leading to school were covered with walnuts falling from large, old, black walnut trees growing by the fence rows. The walnuts were like a gift to my little brother and me. We didn’t have walnut trees on our farm. We carried as many as our small pockets would hold home for our mother to use for cookies.
November meant Thanksgiving to us. But our Thanksgiving table would not be graced with turkey. This was during the 1930’s. So much of the wild game, including turkeys, had been over killed and had to be protected by law and conservationists.
The countryside of the Ozarks has gone through many changes since I was a child, and there will be more changes as we see the lack of respect for life as we have known. But there is hope for a perfect future where man and animal can live peacefully together. The Lord is still in control. He created everything for man to enjoy and be responsible for us to live and reach the highest level He has desired for us to reach. For us to be less than He planned is to be unfaithful stewards of the life entrusted to us.
All life matters. He- God, made it all! Have a great Thanksgiving. It is a day for family to be together and celebrate freedom and the right to choose it. May God be with all, as you give thanks and let freedom ring.