Monday, November 12, 2012

Red, gold, green, and everything in between.

Fall used to depress me.  I didn't really get why leaves changing was special. To me it was like watching the inevitability of death steal over the land.

Now that I live near the Ozarks, among hills and ridges cloaked in multi-colored trees, I absolutely love the color. Maybe its the variety. Green is cool and all, but I love the really bright red leaves and when you can find a blend of shades from green to red to gold and everything in between, that's the best.

I don't know when my morbid perspective began to shift, but I've been thinking about what I see when I look at those same leaves now.  It has to do with dying to self.  The paradox is letting go of my ownership of life, embracing the new self in order to live free of constraints, to delve into an eternally deep life here on earth, and ever after.

The green of life is great and all, but it was never meant to last. And when a soul succeeds in casting off the constraints of living earth-bound, it changes, grows even lovelier. It happens in a moment and over a lifetime. In a moment, an old life is shed like a dry husk, and a new identity in Christ emerges. The new is instantly different and more beautiful. A red leaf, if we want to be a little bit symbolic in the metaphor.

And from then, its a slow shift, a blossoming of color and beauty in a life that is being surrendered. It takes a letting go, a releasing of control, and then that leaf turns to brilliant gold. The prettiest shades can never be reached while the leaf greedily sucks chlorophyll and grips life with panicky strength. If leaves had emotion, I bet they'd revel in turning colors. Maybe we should pray for evergreens....

Oh, to be gold.

I'm thankful for the beauty and variety and depth of changing seasons and colorful leaves.  I'm also thankful that I don't have to rake any of them. And that I spelled chlorophyll right on my first try. Booyah.

My Dearest, thank you for your wisdom, your world.  Thank you for seasons and their colors and scarves and Christmas carols and Thanksgiving traditions. Thank you most for You. For the vast mystery that is our walk and the truth that it only gets better from here. All my love.

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