Sunday, November 7, 2010

Falling leaves

I was driving around doing some shopping and I could not help but notice more leaves on the ground and trees in multiple colors. In California, we have a very short changing of the leaves season. I usually do not notice this much as it goes by quickly, but today the evidence of “fall” was all around. The wind was blowing, large piles of red, orange and brown leaves littered the highways and lawns. I was overtaken by all of the color of it. I felt a little pang of regret that I have never been to the east coast to experience their “Changing of the Colors” in fall. Perhaps, someday.

All of this inspired me to get some decorations for Thanksgiving, as I plan to hostess the family dinner at my home this year. So I venture over to Michael’s, my favorite local craft store and my senses explode with the joy of ………………Christmas! There are Christmas decorations everywhere. The first Christmas carols I hear are being played over their intercom. Did I miss Fall? I must have blinked and it passed right by me.

Fortunately, I was able to find some left over Fall decorations in the clearance section. The next store I went, I had a similar experience. Doesn’t anyone celebrate Thanksgiving and fall anymore? How sad for the times? This little holiday is probably the most important one where we should appreciate, and give thanks to the God that blessed us.

Fall is such a quiet reflective time. As the leaves turn and die, falling slowly to the ground, one cannot help but think about our losses. Of course, heavy on my mind is my husband of 33 years. I am missing his presence in my life. He was a quiet man that preferred anonymity and the self-reflective times of listening to audiobooks or watching movies. He never really had any personal desires to go to places but pleasantly accompanied me and was good company in my desired excursions. Of course, some of these excursions, I went solo, but I am glad that this has given me some confidence and independence as I go through my future without him.

I also reflect of the losses of friends and family over the past few years. Some were lost to sudden accidents and some to illnesses. I miss them too, and grieve for their absence in my life and what the future may have been like, if they were alive today. I grieve for friends and family going through tough times economically now. Never before have we Baby Boomers experienced such a “Depression” like era that our parents experienced. It really makes us think about what is important. It gives us something to tell our grandchildren about our struggles that will inspired them to be survivors, just as the stories our grandparents and parents shared with us did.

Nevertheless, when leaves die, seeds are shed to grow new life. Death always brings renewal. My loss has lead me to renew friendships that are becoming very dear to me. I am striving to renew a purpose of servanthood, wherever I am needed, be it calling a friend that needs encouragement, or baking pumpkin bread to share with workmates and family. My days and nights are filled with purpose leaving me very little time to feel sorry for myself. Thank you, God, for this blessing. Isn’t He so great to know what we need and put opportunities out there for us to take on?

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