Harvest Home


Nothing profound today, my friends… just some thoughts rolling around as we turn the corner and head into the fall. And the winter. And the buttload of snow we northerners will shortly be shoveling…

I will admit – I am becoming a polyseasonal kind of person. Oh – I used to be faithful to one season alone… perhaps two at the most, flirting at the edges, but mainly true to my one and only season…

Winter.

Yeah, winter. My favorite season. The cold, the starkness, the joy of snuggling under several blankets and their comforting weight banishing the frost. And the only season I didn’t sweat like a pig just walking across the room.

Second was fall – especially late fall when the temperatures really start to crash and things get comfy. Pumpkin spiced donuts and cider. Soup and chili. Sweaters and jackets. And a lot less sweating.

But now? My love of a particular season is no longer bound to the amount of sweat or discomfort I associate with it. Spring is wondrous, especially when the snow and water are finally off the bike trails and one can get out after a long frozen season for a nice ride in the new spring sun. Summer is amazing with a couple hundred pounds less insulation – the whole sweating thing isn’t an issue any more. Winter is nice, with its quiet solitude, although winter with NO snow on the bike trails would be heavenly. Guess I got to move south for that.

And the fall. Ah, the fall.

The leaves, the changes. No sadness – just completion of the growing seasons, before a well-deserved rest in the snow. Lots to finish before then, though – things to store, things to can or freeze and preserve, things to close up, things to prepare before winter locks the doors up tight. Pictures to be taken in the golden autumn light, to keep and look at and hold through the cold dark months.

So, it’s no surprise that one of my favorite hymns is usually considered a “fall” hymn. Which is a real shame, because in re-reading the words, I discover that it’s a great song for many times, especially a funeral…

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit as praise to God we yield;
wheat and tares together sown are to joy or sorrow grown;
first the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take the harvest home;
from the field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
but the fruitful ears to store in the garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring thy final harvest home;
gather thou thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
there, forever purified, in thy presence to abide;
come, with all thine angels, come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Text: Henry Alford, 1810-1871; Music: George J. Elvey, 1816-1893

I’ve decided that this song is going to be sung at my funeral / memorial / thingie. When I’m part of that final harvest home, taken into God’s house to dwell forever, I want those I leave behind to long for the golden days of autumn, when all is gathered in, when all is made ready for the long days ahead, in His presence forever. But there, no darkness and cold of winter – forever light, forever golden, forever new, forever green and growing, forever warm and beautiful…

Forever and ever.

Even so, Lord, quickly come – bring Thy final harvest home!

As I said, friends, nothing profound today. Just enjoying watching the seasons roll by, from the seat of a trike.

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