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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

The Red Leaf

The trees are all green up on my hill.  None that I can see have turned except for a few brown oak leaves.  We have three maybe four maples in our yard the rest are all oaks and birch.  Oak leaves turn brown, birch turn a bright yellow and usually maples turn orange.  As I sat on my deck drinking my morning coffee attempting to pray, I watched as a red leaf fluttered to the ground.  I looked up and scanned the trees there were no other red leaves, no other trees with even a hint of red.

I muddled through my prayer forcing my thoughts to stay on the task at hand and forcing my body to stay put until at least most of my coffee was gone and I wished for another.  Not sure why but I asked God for another red leaf.  For proof.  But proof of what?  He loves me?  I’m on the right track?  He exists?  What was I asking for? 

Maybe I was looking for a red leaf not to fall.  Maybe I was hoping for a reason to give this all up.  To crawl into a closet, curl up into a ball and quit this gig, stop writing, get a job… go on medication.  If God’s not real then there’s no one to answer to and I can give up. 

Now it would be just like Him to refrain from sending me what I asked for on principle alone.  You don’t ask God for proof.  You can ask for signs about things, which I never get, meaning I never really see them, but asking for proof of existence, that’s, well, not allowed. You have to find faith on your own.  It’s a rule, or something.

Another red leaf fell, roughly following the path of the first.  I sat there denying it was truly red.  It was more brown than red.  That it actually fell. I might have just imagined it.  I stood and with coffee in hand went to look for my red leaf.  I saw a number of brown but no red.  Then I caught sight of a bright red leaf, then another, then another.  The ground was covered with Canadian Cinquefoil all just beginning to turn, one leaf at a time.  That’s a message right?  No, that doesn’t count.

No red leaf, see I knew it. 

A few more steps and there it was.  I picked it up and proceeded to come up with all the reasons why it wasn’t a sign, why it wasn’t proof of anything.  It seems I only asked the question to prove to myself how alone I truly am.  That God isn’t really out there.  Why would I set myself up like that?

We can tell ourselves there are reasons not to believe. There is no reason to have faith.  That God is just a made up concept to keep society in line.  Or we can open our hearts and view coincidences as signs, and dreams as messages and we can see truth.  We can know that regardless of the name we call the Energy it has been here long before us.  It has guided humanity through lessons and failures and it is waiting for us to find it and accept its love.  We can let our hearts fill, find our own way to God and believe.

God is here and he knows I’m going through a rough time and he answered me, but sign or no sign it seems it is up to me whether I choose to believe or whether I choose to walk this life alone.

There are still no red leaves to be seen in the trees, but they’re there.  I can feel them and I know that no matter how many times I doubt, turn away or deny Him He will still love me while I find my way.

 

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I decided to let my kids sleep in this morning.  Despite the two days off from school, or maybe because of it, my son did not sleep well last night.  I have plans to visit my mom today and I thank God I didn’t get called to sub.  I try to believe that every day has a reason and where I am called to go is where I am meant to be.  The problem with that belief is that the 6 am wake up call hurts so bad! and too often my thoughts of where I’m supposed to be and God’s thoughts, disagree.  I’m figuring we both know I need to be with my mom today.

At 7:08 I went to wake up my son and at the sight of his sleeping form turned back out of the room.  I’ll drive them today.  It’s not that I mind driving them it’s just that no matter what I do or what time I try to leave I always get them to school late.  ALWAYS!  So driving them seems to be a choice between them getting a little more sleep and starting the day just a little late or getting less sleep, riding the bus and arriving on time.  I turn toward the front window of my house and I am awestruck by the brilliantly glowing morning sky, pinkish orange with touches of blue and purple in the clouds that are just beginning to round from the flat grey rain clouds we’ve had for the last four days.  I grab my camera and walk out the front door in my bare feet.  Turkeys are prattling down the hill, the last few leaves that managed to hang on during the hurricane are now falling magically, the cool air is on my face and my toes wriggle in the rain lingering on the pavement.  I walk down my driveway to get the best view and click. 

It’s as I expected.  The picture is nowhere near amazing as the real thing.  I take in one last look and waddle my frozen feet back to the front door.  I look at the picture.  It’s nice, but not what I was trying to capture.  Did you ever notice that?  Nature, no matter how good the pictures might be, always looks best in its moment.  There are just some things that cannot be recreated.  Autumn is always amazing in its colors and displays and every year I say I am going to get my camera and go down by the river and take some pictures but the beauty always passes before I actually get to it.  The best I can do is just pay attention to the beauty when I see it.

There are things in this life that simply cannot be permanently captured, things that are meant to be enjoyed while they are here, while they are ours and then we have to let them go.  Stopping to enjoy that sunrise, putting it to moment and memory was all it needed to fulfill its purpose and now it’s gone.  Isn’t it amazing that during difficult times, ordinary times and maybe even a few special times there are moments of beauty waiting to be noticed; little gifts and works of art that are created just for us, people that are given to us to enjoy while they are here, moments of love and laughter that will stay with us forever if we remember to be in the moment and experience them.  

Wow, where did that come from?  I was planning on writing about NaNo this morning.  If we look at the metaphors I guess I’m doing ok.  National Novel Writing Month begins tomorrow and for me it is the start of a blissfully focused month of writing.  Yes I know I’m crazy.  I believe I have admitted that once or twice.  But what’s kind of cool is my aunt has sort of weaved herself into my next story and even though I will be writing, she’ll be there, and even though I will be sleep deprived and living on coffee for the next month I will still try to remember to notice the little things God puts into this world to remind us…You are not alone, you are stronger than you think you are, and you are loved.  Happy Nano everyone.  I’ll “see” you in December.

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We went camping this past weekend up at our new seasonal site and as I sat with my coffee Sunday morning, staring out into our own personal piece of the forest, I couldn’t help but notice the bugs flying and crawling around.  There were those who flew in a corkscrew motion which I thought had to be quite dizzying.  There were some that seemed to fall from above as if attached to a zip line, knowing where they were going and the exact moment they were going to get there.  There were the ones that zipped back and forth like workers at an office, getting this and getting that and getting things done.  There was one who tentatively flew upward as if he was unsure of his capabilities, but was still making steady and honorable progress.  A group of gnats was slamming themselves repeated into the fire-place wall causing me to marvel at the sheer ineffectiveness of their mode of travel.  There were others, in the leaf litter, hiding and hoping never to be seen.  And then there was the moth; sitting silently, not moving, waiting for night to return.

We often see connections in things that resonate within ourselves.  I am sure all those little bugs were doing what they were created to do without any specific considerations.  It was me who saw all those personalities.  Those were my thoughts.  There are days I feel like I’m flying in a corkscrew motion not getting anything done, days where I am flying repeated against a wall, days where I am making steady progress and occasionally  a day where I actually know where I’m going and when I’m going to get there.  But the moth, that seems to be my mode of existence.  It has taken 40 plus years for me to finally learn how to sit still and listen to my soul and there are more days than not when I do and then the darkness steals in and suddenly I am blinded by a bright light and spend the rest of the evening slamming myself into it thinking; “This is it!  This is it!  It has to be!  I’ll make it be!”  Until dawn illuminates the world and I can see the light for what it really is, an empty bulb now dark and insignificant.  And I learn.

But then the darkness returns and once again I repeat the same pattern but with a different bulb.  You would think after learning and growing so often I would be able to skip the denial part of the process, go right to accepting what the universe is trying to teach me and move things along so much more efficiently, but I don’t.  I run, avoid, and hide in the leaf litter. 

There’s a new lesson on the horizon.  I have stepped up numerous times and have turn-tailed and ran every time.  It’s not that I’m scared to learn it.  I’m just not brave enough to share it and if that is the case then this blog has become obsolete.  Because if I have to walk into unfamiliar territory to learn and can’t honestly share my journey then whatever I write won’t be here, won’t be real, won’t be who I am right now and as well written (or not) as it might be, if it’s not real then it holds no value.

I’m on the edge of another uncharted expanse, not sure of where I’m going or if I even want to get there.  I hear the call across the darkness and it’s warm and inviting, but I look back to where I am and what I know and again I am simply not sure.  I think I might stay here for a little while longer, fly a few circles, slam into a wall or two, maybe hide in the leaf litter for a bit.  The lesson will come as all of them do, in its own time and in its own way sometimes with the pointed force of a zip line and sometimes slowly and softly with the dawn of a new day.

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