There is something about Fall – something in that single moment when the wind takes the leaf from its limb and sends it flying across your field of vision.
Firey reds slowly fade into grey as what had been is cast away.
There is something about that moment right before Winter hits, as the cold air reveals the warmth of one’s breath and the forest floor becomes covered by the fabric of a passing season of time.
Something in the breaking of yesterday’s expectations under the footfalls of the new paths we walk.
I once walked by a tree during late Fall and its leaves, browned and shriveled by time, were still clinging to the branches.
My love for another was lingering in my heart and so the sight stopped me in my tracks.
It was a particularly windy day and one strong gust struck the tree while I was under it.
The air around me became filled with leaves mid-flight in their liberation.
I pulled a few from the top of my red hat and a smile pursed on my lips beneath my eyes.
For a moment I forgot my loneliness. The heart of the forest had shown me the way to live.
The heart of every man is like this tree.
We bloom for the love of Spring.
The rain nurtures our depth of character.
Our roots go deeply into a darkness we don’t understand.
We are warmed by the love of the sun.
Into Summer we burst into life.
Our hearts become homes for the birds who pass from season to season.
Of smiles in conversations over coffee.
Of doors held open for strangers.
Of the laughter of our children.
We thirst, we drink, we grow.
Finally, the Fall hits and the labor of our love is pulled from us by time.
What we knew to be true changes.
What we knew of ourselves changes.
And into Winter’s grasp, we go.
Of life without fulfillment.
Of dreams without a clear path.
Of faith without feeling.
Aye, but the Winter is our sweetest friend,
Though in the loneliness of its grasping cold we would not think it to be so.
Winter loves us to the core of our being.
We are held still in the nakedness of our losses.
We bear withness to the transformation of our pain.
As the rain turns into snow.
And Sleep comes.
And then again –
From Winter into Spring
We find another reason to love.
I am grateful for all of the love that rests on the forest floor of my character.
I am grateful for all of the promises that made my heart open and bloom as the seasons came and went.
I am grateful for the Fall, for dissillusionment, for the scattering away of my expectations.
I am grateful for purifying snows and Winter’s sweet embrace – that I am loved even in my nakedness.
Some of us never plant ourselves in the earth. We go from place to place, scattering much like our leaves in the winds of change.
One day my roots will cling to something real.
One day I will look to see snow atop the limbs of my love in our field.
I will watch her bloom in joy.
I will endure the heavy rains and thunder of sadness with her.
I will watch her colors burst.
And our seasons will pass until a forest of those who bloom like we bloom surrounds us.
And time will go and I will watch my loved ones grow around me.
And when I am ready – when I have sufficiently grown enough in the eyes of my God, I will be struck down and my heart’s life will be taken from me.
Everything that I know will be stripped from me by death.
And into God’s hands, the carpenter, I will go.
And the labors of my soul will build the holy city’s walls.
And a smile will purse on my lips beneath my eyes as I am made new in unimaginable ways.