I have loved the fall since I was a boy. It's hard to put my finger on exactly why.
Maybe it's the collision of colors—the shades of red, orange, and yellow against a stubborn green. Or maybe it's the way the sunlight slides hard into the mountains. Or is it the way the sky catches on fire just before the sun sinks beyond the horizon?
Is it just because it's another college football season? Or the memories of hunting trips with my dad that glow in my mind like embers from a campfire? Or is it the horses whose coats grow thicker every day and who are happier than usual to see me at feeding time?
I think it struck me yesterday. The reason why.
I was asking myself why I like the fall with its plunging temperatures and fierce winds ripping the leaves off the trees. I realized that the fall weather has never mattered that much because I could always find shelter from the storm. I enjoy watching a storm from the inside looking out, with a warm cup of soup between my hands.
I have never had more personal trials in my life than the last three years. But it's all right, because I have shelter from the storm. I have a wife who has remarkably stood by me, no matter what happens. I have three wonderful children who love their dad. I have a Heavenly Father who is only a prayer away, who finds a way to double the returns on all my losses. And I have a Savior who shelters me from the stresses, fears, disappointments, and agonies of life.
I think I finally figured out why I love the fall so much. It reminds me that I am safe in the arms of loved ones—seen and unseen—no matter how hard the wind blows or how much an early snow surprises me. I am sheltered from the storm.