Autumn color came early this year... was spectacular in its' beauty... and now in the muted form has lasted an unusually long time. God's grace to at least one soul (mine) in these uncertain days.
Recently I was sitting in the car at the corner of a grocery store parking lot with a Starbuck's hot caramel apple spice drink in one hand and The Valley of Vision in the other. Some people find a quiet space in odd places, I know. :)
Normally I can lose myself in The Valley of Vision but that day I was distracted by my surroundings for in my line of sight were the grocery store where I have shopped (only when living in this area, of course) from the time I was a bride... the cafeteria that was my mother's favorite place to "eat out"... the Pizza Hut where we held many a family celebration... and a drive-in which looked very crowded as it was closing its' doors that day until the return of warmer weather.
Places of importance in the past with loved ones now grown up, or moved away, or gone on to their reward with Him.
As I sat there, I thought of the beauty that we have been experiencing these past weeks and had an idea why it is always mixed with melancholy. For it reminds us of the brevity of life at times. The leaves shed their summer greenery to display lavish clothing but just for a little while.
We find ourselves standing and gazing at the color which surrounds us, the golden days of trees as magnificent as any stained glass window made by man, and we know it can all be gone with the next big wind.
My thoughts that day in the car went back to childhood and that first real taste of death... of endings... of being cut off from one never to see him again at least this side of eternity.
I have said before that perhaps the greatest impact a traumatic experience has on us is the loss of innocence... knowing that, indeed, bad things happen to good people.
I think that's why children can bask in the piles of dead leaves with full joy and at the same time adults view the same leaves... on the ground and now drying as they are no longer attached to their source of life... with a sadness knowing the time of exuberant color is coming to an end and the quiet and cold of winter is near.
It tells me I can trust Him even when I don't understand why the road has bends and curves and potholes and bumps. His Character is worth clinging to when I can't see where the road will end. I know the destination leads to One who does not only love... He is Love.
He is the Warmth in the winter, the Light of the lantern as the darkness surrounds, the Friend who sticks closer than a brother, the Word that explain it all, the Rest in the chaos, and the One Who holds us firm when the hurricane force winds of the stormy trials in our life are causing us to bend.
But perhaps the real lesson of autumn is this... He always brings us spring and renewal and life and Resurrection.
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life...", Jesus.