We’re just getting to that point in the year where Chicago starts to look like some majestic oil painting. This time last year, I wrote this short piece as part of a set for the 2013 ARCH reflecting on the seasons of the year in Chicago and at Moody. I plan to share the rest in due season.

Come each October, autumn begins to make her appearance in Chicago. The wind’s touch slowly grows sharper, and the temperatures begin to drop. Scarves, hats, and coats are debuted. LaSalle’s arboreal row dawns oranges, mustards, and browns. A flourishing tree in the plaza gently surrenders her red berries and leaves, laying a beautiful carpet that crunches under the step of a student’s brown boots.

It’s a time of harvest as the midwest rakes in the earth’s bounty. On Saturday mornings, groups leave through the Arch and head to the farmer’s market at the intersection of Clark and Division, where merchants sell gourds and a hundred varieties of apples.

Joe’s coffee shop offers the long-anticipated pumpkin spice latte. Girls take on seasonal Pinterest projects, dawning their doors with tea-stained coffee filter wreaths. In the fall, a simple walk through the neighborhood feels magical. Leaves funnel on the sidewalk before us, circling in the wind as if controlled by some conductor’s baton.

Fall is a symphony, and God performs it so loudly that none can miss it. As He makes music out of color, texture, and movement, we are all struck by the way He changes not only the earth, but us.