I have no doubt that October comes everywhere and it is beautiful when it comes, but I am persuaded that when it comes in Vermont it simply explodes in full bloom splashing gold, orange, yellow, and red across the canvas of the Green Mountains. The gurgling streams serenade a response to the symphony cascading from the trees above as the sun shines down brightly from the cloudless azure skies.
During morning walks and hikes where the sunlight filters through the painted leaves, everything within me is drawn to praise the One who created all that surrounds me. Each season displays something unique and wondrous about Him, but in autumn it is such a glorious showy display. Over and over again Isaiah 55:12 resounds within me:
Isaiah 55:12 New International Version (NIV)
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
People come from everywhere for this grand display in the midst of small towns and villages scattered across the mountains of Vermont. Some gaze from the vantage point of the interstate highways that give panoramic views of mountains that look like paint pots of color. The view goes on mile after mile while your eyes eagerly race ahead to take in the vista at each turn to take and the veritable feast of beauty unfolds before your eyes.
But to get a more intimate view, you need to leave the interstate and search out the two lane roads like Vermont routes 100 and 108 that meander through the scene between walls of color made brighter by the sunlight filtering through them.
That will let you see the red barns tucked here and there in fields carved out of small lush valleys. It will let you catch sight of the beautiful tall white spires of churches dotting the landscape and it will also invite you to taste the season. As cider mills, maple syrup farms, and the wonderful Cabot white cheddar cheese stores offer their harvest for sample and sale along the country roads, you will not be able to resist a cup of hot apple cider along with a warm apple cider doughnut.
You’ll be reminded that maple syrup comes from these stunning sugar maple trees awash in their bright red leaves rather than from the bottle you pick up at your local grocery. Those who harvest the sap and boil it to create the syrup will acquaint you with the grades, colors, and uses of the sap made into such a delicious syrup. Each grade and type has a special purpose and no matter whether it is the first and best light colored liquid that goes for the highest price or the darkest amber of the last liquid drawn off and used for cooking, it is all good.
Walking along these colorful paths in Vermont will most of all take you back to the Creator because His creation declares His glory at every turn. Your heart and spirit are quieted in His presence as your feet walk along streams, follow footpaths down wooded trails, and climb the pathways to waterfalls.
Your heart is also awakened to praise that He too uses every thing, every season for His glory and our good.
No matter how dark the moment may seem, He is present in it with us and His light will lead us home.