I Love You Because

Hello, and welcome to another Thursday morning! It’s officially Autumn. The leaves of our dogwood tree are starting to turn from green to red, triggering a poignant memory…

“Why do the leaves turn color, Mama?”

I looked at my four-year-old son, then back at the dogwood tree in the middle of our yard. The small tree was always the first to display red and orange leaves. Did I know the answer to his question? “The sun shines less this time of year, so the leaves don’t make as much chlorophyll.” I almost ended with a question mark, because I wasn’t quite sure my answer was right. I’d pretty much bombed out in biology.

My little boy frowned and shook his head. “No, Mama, God paints ‘em.”

“Okay. Why did you ask if you already knew the answer?”

He shrugged before bouncing away to join his brothers playing in the court.
My son was certain of his answer, whether scientifically correct, or based on his four-year-old trust mentality.

It made me wonder, why do we ask questions when we already know the answer? Are we hoping the answer will change?

My son had an inquisitive mind. He asked me questions throughout the day for days on end. Sometimes I grew tired of coming up with answers. I may have gotten snippy a time or two.

We taught our children to believe the impossible, that God created the universe by speaking it into existence. His words started a chain of events that centuries later, resulted in the natural beauty around us—the red, orange, and golden leaves in fall. So, maybe He had painted the leaves in the beginning…but why?

Lost in thought, I didn’t hear my son’s approach until he draped his arms around my neck and hugged me.

“I love you, Mama.”

My heart overflowed. “Why do you love me?”

He rested his head against my shoulder. “Just because.”

The Glory of Life

2f111-shutterstock_85609522Outside my window, the maple trees are putting on a show of brilliant colors. Their last hurrah. Winter comes close on the heels of Autumn here.

There are things about each season I love. And things I don’t like so much–no need to talk about those. I love the cooler temperatures of Autumn. The crisp air of a Fall morning is energizing. The smell of the burnishing leaves, their crunch beneath my feet, all add to the season’s ambiance.

As the trees shed their leafy cover, gaps open up, and the bright sunlight spills through the windows, lighting up our rooms. Thus, revealing summer’s deposits of dust and cobwebs. Oops! Fall cleaning scheduled.

Autumn is especially poignant for me this year, as a dear friend prepares to make her final journey. I remember the Spring of her life, when as a bubbly cheerleader, she spread joy and sunlight wherever she went.

SeventiesChoir
We were so pastel…so…70’s…

I was a few years older, but we lived on the same street and attended the same high school. Later, we were both members of the same church youth group, and youth choir. At my wedding, she told me I was beautiful, and we (my husband and I) were like movie stars. It was all very romantic. She couldn’t wait for her day to come.

It did, several years later, when she married her best friend, another of our youth group and youth choir members. Still bubbly and outgoing, she had added a college degree and looked forward to a career in teaching. Soon she had a home classroom filled with three beautiful daughters. Blessed daughters, to have such a mother, who gave herself to their raising and training.

As she prepares to leave this life, her legacy of love and compassion lights our memories and warms our hearts. We’ll miss her, oh my, yes. But her light will never go out. As Fall’s glory fades into Winter’s chill, hope survives. Spring will come!

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. –2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV

OX253EDR6R

Autumn Fires

FallMeme

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes
The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

A poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, from A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1885