My feet enter the bed of crunchy leaves –raked in precision. Hair glistening auburn in the speckled sunlight – it’s fall. The air smells like pumpkin scented candles, my skin, rippled with goose bumps is no longer a toasty tan from the summer months. It’s pristine white like pillars of ivory.
The chilly afternoon breeze is the reason for my ice-cold reaction – these little dots of frosty membrane on the covering of my bones. Yet, I don’t seem to mind.
The air is fresh. Chimney’s sputter out grey smoke into the distance and the quiet, plump husband and wife doves coo in the distance. It’s a coo of peace and fulfillment. I scan the rich, warm scenery to spot this feathery couple– they blend in to the nature around me. They are impossible to spot. Very well, I think, this was God’s intent, his way to protect and cover them in the wild. Their music soothes my soul.
Laughing. Whirling of crispy leaves. These are things I remember from childhood. Stillness. Peaceful painted sky. Orange plastic Jack-o-Lantern trash bags with goofy, toothless grins and cozy loose knit sweaters. Warm apple cider. A great hunt for mossy sticks in the yard in order to build a crude fire in a spacious Texas ranch home. Dirty hands. Lungs full of air. Safety, comfort – this was my autumn world.
But was this how it was – or just how I pictured it? Thinking back on this world fills my imagery with the aroma of perfection. It is easy to look back at this memory and visualize grandeur. Moments of care-free bliss. Often times, early memories are aggrandized.
The Swiss Miss cup of grocery store hot chocolate turns into a gourmet, milk chocolate fashioned in the North Pole. The breeze I thought was too cold (and I might have complained about) develops into a crisp, fall day over time in my mind. And the leaves that I once clasped a hold of – were not clean, they were earthy and, more than likely, carried crawling critters.
However, isn’t this like life? It’s a crazy beautiful mess – not how you picture it, but the little moments create sweet memories and lasting love. No matter how nicely you frame the scenery – whether with a gold embellished frame or a rustic wood one, that bowl full of water and floating apples looks appealing – but when seeking for that perfect crisp fruit, your head and hair will still get soaking wet – but you capture that sweet prize.You embrace life.
May our life be like fall – crisp, ruddy but real! God did not promise a life of ease – but one full of trials, triumphs, failures and joy. One of promise. It’s important to really digest the truth that promise cannot be obtained without practice.
We may fall on our knees and soil those brand new jeans, but we get up – knees stinging in pain. A gnarly branch may catch our hair and mess up that perfect, neat bun, but we fasten back that tangled hair with a bobby pin and continue on, unaffected by appearance.
Can you hear the doves in the distance – the ones coupled in peace?
They have reached promise. And we are on a journey to obtain that as well. Let’s pray for peace and rejoice in the dirty nature, falling leaves and water soaked apples for they make us into sturdy vessels. No longer cisterns of stagnant water – we are the flowing living water of God!