Sunday, November 10, 2013
Sunday Afternoon Tea
The color of the leaves had been muted this autumn. Quite pretty to view but nothing breathtaking at all. But something happened just days before they fell. Something so special, one felt each time they walked down the gravel lane that they had been transformed into Narnia before Winter set in... or perhaps the British Isles during the reign of Arthur.
I half expected to see a faun in the forest and hoped as one looked closer into the woods, there would be a table set up where tea was served by Mrs. Beaver. To say the world... my world... had suddenly turned magical is an understatement that one who loves words cannot explain.
I think you had to be there, to breath in the air (Narnian air), to hear the crackling of the leaves on the gravel as one walked, to stand in the midst of a carpet of the most beautiful leaves I think I've ever seen, or to open the rural mail box and look toward the red barn in the midst of golden air.
The trees glowed when the late autumn sun showed through, that light which in itself seems to be liquid gold. All the world was aglow as if God had left His lamp on at dawn.
Yes, I do have a vivid imagination but I think even the scientific minded menfolk in my family would find it all full of Narnian magic. The world came alive in shades of gold, red, and chartreuse for two or three days.
I brought inside a dozen or two leaves, pressing them in the pages of The Oxford History of the American People. They were so beautiful, I let a handful lay out on dining table to enjoy as I walked past.
But such magical surroundings were short lived, as most are you know. That's part of what makes them so amazingly glorious, the knowledge that the air must be inhaled deeply and that our eyes must drink in the Beauty now and not later... for what is here today is gone tomorrow. Perhaps an hour later if the winds pick up.
I was quite glad I'd followed my instincts one morning when I quickly changed from nightgown and flannel housecoat to slacks and heavy sweater. So I could run outside in the early morning light and look at the magical world through the lens of the camera. For by that evening half the leaves had become a carpet on the lawn... beautiful in their own way.
The Good Book (as the old timers called it) tells us God's stories as they relate to natural surroundings. I think of that often when I prune the evergreen bushes and find the discarded greenery now brown and dried up the next day... or when I plant seeds only to have some sprout new life and others lay dormant... or the weeds are growing in with the lettuce and green beans.
God says nature tells us stories about Him such that people in the far edges of the world will know He exists. He certainly talked to me as I held the jewel toned leaves in my hand. He reminded me they were this color all along. For as you probably know, the color is simply their undergarments which have been covered by various shades of green. In truth... they are always magical.
It is just before they die and go back into the ground that God lets us see the Beauty. I think it is His gift to us and the trees. To go out in a blaze of Glory before the darkness of winter sets in.
Snow is in the forecast and one has needed a heavy jacket for about a week already. It won't be too long before our world will become shades of black, white, and gray. The only bright color will come from the nest of cardinals in the backyard and the red barn across the road.
The glow will be found in the flicker of the scented candle as I try to recreate a little of that other world that visited me for two or three days. Perhaps I will make a pot of tea and serve it with a tray of wooden chips along with scones and marmalade. Just in case Mrs. Beaver stops by.
One can only hope...