Thursday, October 7, 2010

Golden Autumn Days

I just had to sit outside today and listen to the dancing leaves still clinging to the trees, and watch the leaves fall gently down, and feel the golden sunlight filtered through the leaves–before there are no leaves and the color changes to drab, and then to stark, and the wind loses its friendly sound and instead becomes a howl and wail to echo our somber moods of Winter in the north.

Obligingly, the farmer came today to harvest his crop of soybeans now bursting and dry on the vine.  Perfect for harvest, this week of sun and pleasant weather will stretch warm into next week if we are lucky.  Very warm today, even with the strong breeze.  And harvest watching, which only happens once a year, is worth more to me than one day of phonics, handwriting and numbers––at least for the younger crowd.  The quiet house still holds four older scholars today–I would have let them play outside, but they didn't ask.  Diligently pursing math, literature, science, history, languages and the arts . . . I hope the golden, gently-shifting light skipping through the windows is penetrating into their minds along with the subjects of their study. I'll urge them outside, too, this afternoon.

Creation is on my mind today–and beauty–and the Creator.  The miracles in the changing season.  The changes in the leaves and grass and all growing things as the sun travels too close to the horizon in the south to sustain the vibrant green, and so the gold and red and rust and even purple is now revealed. The marigolds are smiling at the whole world joining them in golden celebration, although the more tender members of my flower garden had to say good-bye with the heavy frost a few mornings ago. 

So, drawn outside by the extraordinary Autumn light and thoughts of Light, I sit here in the dappled radiance on the deck.

The sounds invade my sleepy mind.

Along with nearby tractor rumble and the sound of children's laughter, the hearty birds that keep us company thorough the snowy months are singing today to let me know they'd appreciate a seed or two, even though some Summer friends have flown away.

And this year, I have fallen in love with the wind.  The movement and the power and the sound itself makes my soul rise and sing praises to the Lord, my Maker.  Somehow it carries a message of comfort and peace––reminding me that I am small and yet loved by One infinitely more powerful than any force of nature.  I've leaned into the wind this year on walks and tried to learn not to be annoyed by the way it whips my hair around my face and instead enjoy the swirling.  I've opened my windows early and late to listen to its varied voice, and have fallen asleep to it's lullabies.  I've been amazed to wake in the morning and see that a full-sized playhouse was tossed across the yard in the night by the wind, as if it were a toy, indeed.  We've raced to shelter in the face of dark storms, in fear of the fury of the wind.  I've been soothed by the fragrance on the breeze of gentle morning and missed the wind on rare still days.

Knowing the wind has been here all along while I haven't paid attention, I wonder what else I've missed.

With the golden shower of leaves raining down around me even as I write these words, today may be the last day I hear the sound of the Summer wind rousing the leaves to dance and sing and soon the voices of Fall and Winter winds will prevail in bringing us along to the moods of other seasons.  As I listen again . . . the voice of Fall is already well mixed in.

Seasons.  I'm thankful for the seasons of the earth and of our lives.  This year I will be rewarded with meeting the child that wriggles in my womb today, just as winter takes hold across our land.  My hope is that the miracle of newborn life along with holiday sights and sounds and the true meaning of Thanksgiving and Christmas will carry me far into the darkest months of the year before the longing for Spring and life starts to well up again.

But for this day and this week, I will rejoice in the light and breathe in the smells of this golden Autumn and worship the Lord while the gifts of peace and faith are swirling thick around me like the leaves at our feet and in the air.


"I'll praise my Maker while I've breath..."
       ~Issac Watts, in his hymn reflecting on Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
     Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord as long as I live;
     I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
                       ~Psalm 146:1-2

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Treasure from the Junk Drawer
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Bible verses:
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV)