Late have I loved you, unrelenting autumn.
But this year, even when it’s hard to fare forward, there’s a certain comfort in being able to fall into your arms.
There was a time when September’s crunch quietly crushed me. It was too brief and too wonderful for words. The brilliant reds and yellows, the smoky-sweet air, the annual permission to buy entirely too many pencils and highlighters all filled me to the point of shattering. The prospect of fading glory and Jersey ice storms set my little heart atremble, and it was all I could do not to engulf myself in layers of protective polar fleece.
It wasn’t so much that I didn’t love autumn; it was that I loved it too much. And so I told myself I didn’t, couldn’t love it at all.
Isn’t this what we do, dear hearts and hummingbirds? The seasons and cats and dreams we cherish are so fragile, we fear to give ourselves over to them. And in so fearing, we end up frozen.
Fortunately, the Almighty has a way of gently bopping us upon the head and jolting us back to gratitude. I’m fully convinced that God will use all the means at His disposal to rekindle our hope. And in this strangest of seasons, the mighty means just might be marmalade cats.
An enormous, outrageous, incomprehensible number of marmalade cats.
We’re talking galumphing hordes. We’re talking a cast of
thousands tens. We’re talking nearly every single new arrival to the hallowed halls of Tabby’s Place.
Don’t believe me? Just watch.
Every eminent individual pictured in this post has arrived at Tabby’s Place within the last month. It’s more than strange; it’s spectacular. It’s splendorous. These sunrise-splashed cats are an echo of a Life that blooms all weary winter long. Even in 2020. Especially in 2020.
Beautiful readers, I don’t know any better than you do what this autumn and winter will afford us. There may be a vaccine, a cure, a turning of tides. Or the pestilence may pound on, leaving us blinking in this strange, vaguely medieval half-life. We may find new ways to talk to each other; we may keep shouting past each other. Peace may soar; the streets may yet wail.
But mark my words: there will be glories that do not fade. There will be reminders that the colors of life are guaranteed their victory. And, if we let ourselves be bopped, there will be gentle head-bonks to bring us home to hope. Then it’s up to us to live it out and love it forward to the next stumbling soul.
I’m afraid of you, autumn. But more than that, I cherish you, and I sink into your crunchy orange arms.
Please just be kind to us, and to our marmalade brigade.
Note: The tiny gentleman in the thumbnail photo is literally named Marmalade. I am slain.
At Honey’s request, just in case you needed one last pre-autumn joyboost.