Her feminine little work boots scuffled through the tissue-paper crunch of fiery painted leaves, alerting my hearing to an unappreciated sound. I had overlooked the fragrance, colour and crisp loveliness of fall out of fear and selfishness. I missed some of autumn this year because of dreading the winter. When the last leaves were drifting to their final resting place, I glanced back at a season I had hurried through, and mostly stayed indoors for, and I longed to have a re-do. The picture of life became clearer as I realized I can miss what God is offering me in the present by being so busy planning and thinking about what may come. Although, I love many aspects of winter, and I don't have much to fear of the future, that I am aware of, I allowed myself to become less than grateful for the serenity and brilliance of fall days. With all my normally regular woodsy walks and practicing thankfulness, I don't know how I succumbed to this attitude--but I did.
Looking back at photos--the very few I took--I regret not savouring, and yet, I know I can apply that gratitude to this moment, this season, no matter how long and cold it may seem. There is a gift in the everyday, in the little things, in the wilderness, in the seemingly less beautiful. And, so I pray for the wisdom and joy and openness to embrace today. Scuffling helps. Watching children helps. Gratitude helps.
1995. fire in the leaves
1996. Holy Spirit whispers that wake me up
1997. new seasons, new chances for thankfulness
1998. cold weather (yep, speaking words of life!)
1999. how children see the beauty in every season
2000. how I blinked, and my toddlers jumping in the leaves turned into big kids still jumping