The old grand-maple has done it again — goin’ out in a blaze of glory! Isn’t he gorgeous? His orange-golden glow lights up the landscape like a beacon. A couple of weeks ago I took a good, long look and wondered. He was well on his way to peak but time was short. Perhaps October’s wind and rain would get the best of him? No, I’m happy to report he’s finishing in fine form.
This has been a month of renewal. Freshly painted walls and ceilings, sparkling clean windows, furnishings repositioned or repurposed. We’re nearly done and it’s a good thing because I’m exhausted. This was fall cleaning like the old days, when I believed twice-annual cleaning sprees were essential. The end result is a glitzy-gold living room and an upbeat outlook. Maybe I should do this more often!
Typically, I’m a bit melancholy this time of year, for a combination of reasons. The reality of a long, cold winter, just around the corner hits home as the leaves fall to the ground. We rake and sweep the patio clean one day only to start all over again the next. October has also been a month of significant losses, the beginning of extended, difficult seasons in our lives. Several years, our world seemed to turn upside down in October.
It’s heartening to look back now and know these were just seasons. These were not permanent states of grief and heartache, fear and doubt. That perspective only comes with time, in taking step by tentative step, pressing onward, forward, upward. It’s work but it’s worth it.
I’m thankful for the grand-maple as yet another reminder of good gifts through the seasons of life. I am especially thankful for the reminder that I can blaze bright ’til the end, too.
Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return.
They will enter Jerusalem singing,
crowned with everlasting joy.
Sorrow and mourning will disappear,
and they will be filled with joy and gladness. Isaiah 35
Oh, the joys of those who …
… delight in the law of the LORD,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:1-3