Drifting and settling…
It’s that time of year again. School is getting underway once more, and college students are moving back into the dorms and preparing for another academic year. I always loved moving back into the dorm. The first thing I did was to put up pictures…on the walls, on top of my dresser and night table. Those photographs made me feel at home and comforted me by reminding me of the boyfriend (who became the fiance’) I would only see on weekends.
Subtle signs tell me that the seasons are about to change. My musical activities are about to resume, and I look forward to the discipline of regular singing and the vocal rehab I’m about to experience. Blowing the summer’s rust off my vocal cords is a humbling, but exhilarating, process.
The first leaves are starting to fall. Here and there, among all the green-ness of late summer, a lone leaf turns color, and then turns loose from its warm-weather home.
Soon enough these earliest of falling leaves will be followed by multitudes of their tree-mates, scattering warm layers of color through the air and upon the ground.
This seasonal rhythm grounds me in ways unlike the other changes throughout the year. The air becomes cooler and easier to breathe. It’s as though the frenzied molecules of my life settle themselves somehow, much as the falling leaves settle to the ground after their brief period of drifting.
Why this is a hard time of the year…
I awoke to gentle rain this morning and would have loved to stay in bed, cocooned in sleepy warmth. But there is work to be done and a living to be made, so I reluctantly dragged myself from my cozy bed and got my day started with the regular routine of vitamins, bath, makeup/hair and getting dressed and out the door. Our Boy Roy is a morning dog, so as usual he got up when I did and kept me company as I went about my morning.
The rain intensified as I drove to work and as the rain fell, so, it seemed, did the remaining leaves on the trees. It’s always a little sad when the last of the leaves drift to the ground, especially when a rain seems to beat them down prematurely. But it is November, and the leaves can’t hold on forever. The rhythm of the seasons is unstoppable, and as fall deepens and winter approaches, the last of the leaves must inevitably let go.
This time of year brings memories of Mama in the hospital and a different letting-go process, as she began to release her earthly life and turn toward her Heavenly one. From her hospital window we could see the shifting seasons as the vibrant autumn leaves fell softly from the trees outside, whipped by wind sometimes, or battered by rain. Inside her room the only color seemed to be pale…pale walls, pale sheets, Mama’s pale face. Her whole life she had been so vibrant, until sickness drained all the color out of her.
So it is with the death of the leaves in the fall, and with Mama’s dying process that I always seem to re-live at this time of year. I like to imagine that Heaven is filled with all the beauty of all the seasons, all at once. We can witness the majesty of snow without being cold, the rich reds and golds of fall, and spring and summer’s lavenders, pinks and greens will be more saturated than we can begin to imagine here, with no harsh winds or battering rains. Our loved ones’ faces will be rosy and glowing with perfect health and wholeness, and the Sun of Righteousness will shine His radiant light throughout Heaven’s kingdom.