Thursday, October 12, 2006

Winter's Approach

This picture is of my sad little petunias on the back deck. Just a day ago they still looked perky and pink. I've dragged pots inside for a few nights, but in "snow belt country" as Cheesehead calls it, the day comes when we just sigh and let things be, knowing we can't stop winter's approach.

We awoke to a chilly 22 degrees Farenheit with a brisk wind blowing. A few flakes of --is it hail or is it snow?--danced on the wind. Time to find some heavier socks.

As I dashed across an empty parking lot this morning--pulling my jacket closed as I went-- I was thinking of "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day," but Christopher Robin and Pooh would not have strolled outside today. They would have hurried indoors to a warm fire and a cup of hot chocolate
. Since it was my turn to host the clergy association, I had just made a hurried trip to the local grocery store. It smelled of...mmm...spiced cider... and the pumpkin bars looked wonderful. (I only like pumpkin bars when the weather is chilly.) I bought several and hurried back to church to put the coffee on, shivering as I went and vowing to get my winter clothes out today.

Inside in a sunny kitchen window at home I am keeping summer a bit longer. Thank God for chrysanthemums! And my little African Violet just blooms and blooms for some reason. Outside, the petunias and the impatiens are black and curling up, but the marigolds are still braving the cold and blooming on.

Thank you God, for seasons, both on the earth in in my life. It seems such a short time ago that I was longing for spring--and posting about it here. And now summer is past and fall has turned the trees golden and the air sharp. I'm putting away cropped pants and light shirts and pulling out sweaters, shaking out mothballs and finding those heavier socks. As winter approaches I am thinking of how the physical seasons so often seem to correspond to spiritual seasons in my life. I want to be like those marigolds outside...staunchy pushing their faces up in the wind and the cold and blooming brightly in defiance. It's a difficult time for me, God, but I'm going to bloom on, by Your grace.

I know it's corny. But it is how I feel today. And on the lighter side, here is a poem by the famous African-American poet Robert Laurence Dunbar. (What an interesting man he must have been. Click the link to read about him .) Anyway, Wisconsin and Minnesota are full of men who like to hunt--or at least pretend to like to hunt. Some men from church did go rabbit hunting just last week, so when I saw this I had to smile.

Winter's Approach

De sun hit shine an’ de win’ hit blow,
Ol’ Brer Rabbit be a-layin’ low,
He know dat de wintah time a-comin’,
De huntah man he walk an’ wait,
He walk right by Brer Rabbit’s gate—He know—
De dog he lick his sliverin’ chop,
An’ he tongue ‘gin’ his mouf go flop, flop—
He—He rub his nose fu’ to clah his scent
So’s to tell w’ich way dat cotton-tail went,
He—De huntah’s wife she set an’ spin
A good wahm coat fu’ to wrop him in
She—She look at de skillet an’ she smile, oh my!
An’ ol’ Brer Rabbit got to sholy fly!
Dey know.

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