I wait. I watch. I take in the now and all that it offers; but there is always the wondering about what will be.
The seasons come and go and I know this, how it all works. It is the same cycle every time, the same cycle of hope. I know this rhythm like I know my own heartbeat and still I wait with held breath.
October was slow and the page turns to November. I begin the waiting. I wait for the color and I wait for the acorn to fall and I wait for the sound of the lone goose overhead ... that gut-wrenching call that slays me on the inside.
And my children, they have learned this fall song and they have learned to love the geese. We tune our eyes to the hues that come gradual and we cheer for the Japanese maple by the door as it somehow, nearly overnight, does its magic. We sit at the dinner table or read books by the window and the geese fly the same pattern each year-- right over our heads.
We didn't know it when we bought this old house, how they would cross this roof every night at dusk. My girls mimic their mama as they gasp and sit up tall with wide eyes. They run out to the street in their socks. We hold our hands up and call to them. Hello, friends! Saluting their ritual, applauding their faithful trek.
It has become a family affair.
They are too young still to know how life can sit heavy on the shoulders. But I feel the weight roll right off as those birds follow each other out of the waiting.
That V in the sky pointing toward home.
My whole body sighs and there is peace in the knowing that they go ... that they come back again. The sun keeps keeps rising and the ocean keeps ebbing and these silly geese keep flying south, a conscientious answer to a Maker who beckons them to warmer skies.
But they wait still before taking flight and the leaves hang quiet before displaying full splendor.
And isn't He always getting us ready?
Each year when the air turns harsh, I brace for the cold. We herald in the new year with communion on the floor, this man and I. Since our first year in Arkansas, we have broken bread and named the year to come: the twelve months about to unfold. We look back at where we've been ... then look ahead. We cast vision together for this family and then ask corporately for the grace to carry it out. We wait.
We have held on tight and we know we haven't walked the dark road yet. We know we will, in time.
Because the seasons always come.
And we can't change where we are and we cant rush what the seasons will bring. We can't speed up this growth life any more than we can will the leaves to turn. But we can watch and we can wait hopeful. We can be faithful to do the next thing, follow that Father voice when He calls us out of the waiting, calls us to new heights. Calls us a little closer toward home ...
This was the year of Being Brave.
Brave to open our eyes. Brave to enter in. Brave to look close. Brave to simply say yes ...
Brave to ask the question, "Jesus, what do you really want from us, from me?"
And I watch with different eyes and a crazed camera this fall as the leaves take their sweet time. Everywhere I look they are only half changed. Multicolored, sort-of complete, almost-there beauty. It makes me smile, pieces of creation groaning everywhere I look ... groaning to be fully there.
And sometimes the change comes slow.
The tides roll and we spin unknowing. The leaves glow and then fall and the branches wave exposed. We watch the falling down and we insulate with matches and wood. We bundle up and we wait. And in the witnessing and in the waiting, we are changed.
And somehow with more vibrant color than the season before, we find ourselves a little closer to home ... a little closer to full splendor.
I snap more pictures of leaves and I whisper,
"go on with thy patient work ...
and deliver me from everything that dims the brightness of thy grace in me..."from The Valley of Vision