Saturday, October 03, 2009

Autumn Round These Parts

The feed corn is brown and drying in the fields; the soy beans are about ready for harvest. The trees are beginning to show more color, and the wind is usually blowing. We've reluctantly turned on the furnace and I have pulled out my sweaters from the chest in the basement.

Yes, autumn has arrived. So today we decided to get out our fall lawn decoration and add some corn stalks and pumpkins. Squash and pumpkins grow very well in the upper portion of the USA, and all around in our area are wagons loaded with beautiful varieties for sale. Usually there is a box somewhere for depositing cash.


Trinity came along to help us check out the best ones. Here she is with Uncle Kevin.

How 'bout this one, Grandma?

Papa selects a pie pumpkin, and Trinity picks out a few of the colorful gourds.
Back home, I start a pot of stew on the stove while Papa and Trinity work on a Lion King puzzle.
Oh yeah, football is on TV, of course. It IS Autumn, after all.

When is the last time you fell asleep with your feet in the air? This is Trinity's toddler size bed, snagged at the local thrift store.


I love the color in the fields and trees, the pumpkins, the scent of smoke, the warmth of a cozy sweater, snuggling under the weight of more blankets on the bed. Tonight I am feeling a bit at a loss. I still feel like I should be working on a sermon on Saturday. I am missing my mother (who absolutely loved Fall) and I am missing my sister too. Something about this time of year always makes me feel a bit melancholy, even though there are many things I love about it.

I miss fellowship and fun with certain close friends. I miss prayer with a group of others who longed for God's will to be done. I miss the sense of expectation and anticipation for what God was doing and would do.

Lately I keep thinking of Darlaine, and the odd thing is that for a millisecond I forget that she died. I always think of her being somewhere. I know, she is. But I mean somewhere in this world that just does not happen to be the same place as I am--not difficult because we never lived in close proximity after I got married.

So for a moment I think of her at her stove, or sipping a steaming cup of tea as she reads a book...or...and then I realize I will not see her, or hear her voice till eternity. I miss her with a sharp pain of loss. Strange time. I wonder how long it will before I realize she is really gone?

This will be the first Christmas since my mother died, though she was not really "present" last year and did not enjoy the season. How long before I do not feel guilty for using anything that was hers? I mean, I can feel guilty using a towel or a basket or anything that belonged to her. Not rational, I know. Doesn't matter.

I am missing things I always did at this time of year: decorating the sanctuary with fall flowers along with my secretary and friend. Doing our annual prayer walk around the towns of our area. Beginning to think seriously about what I will do for the annual Christmas Eve candlelight service.

How long before I am feeling comfortable in my own skin again? How long before certain worship songs do not make me teary-eyed? Or how long before I stop feeling out of place and a bit lost? How long till I am genuinely at peace with God--and with myself? How long until I am aware of God's presence or become aware of God's "voice"?

I don't know. Autumn is a strange time. Especially this year. But it was, nonetheless, a lovely day. And God is still good.

The Psalmist knew this too, and Psalm 13 reminds me that I can make a choice to praise God and be thankful, even when I do not understand.

How long, O LORD?
Will You forget me forever?

How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart daily?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and hear me, O LORD my God;
Enlighten my eyes..
Lest my enemy say,
“I have prevailed against him”;
Lest those who trouble me rejoice when I am moved.

But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.

5 comments:

Presbyterian Gal said...

I love fall too. It's my favorite time of year. Even though California doesn't do fall all that intensely. And we haven't really had any fall in a few years because of the drought.

But I still love it. And your pictures too.

Sorry you miss your kin. I know that can be hard.

Jeni said...

My Mom died 30 years ago -tomorrow, as a matter of fact. My ex-husband and I divorced 8 months later. And after that, for many, many years, there were certain songs that made me very teary-eyed -enough so that I wouldn't go to church because I didn't want people to see me weeping when I should have been singing. One song in particular, is still often difficult for me to sing at church -"Children of the Heavenly Father" - but I think part of that issue is I have a very strong sentimental attachment to that hymn. But you are the first person who has ever said they too have had a problem singing certain hymns and who connects it back to a specific portion of life. Hope you realize how comforting it is to me to know I am not really as big a whack-job as I thought I must be all those years! Not that I am happy you are dealing with that, but that you could share that part of yourself openly. Last fall, I had to teach my granddaughter the words to that hymn -she had to memorize the first verse in English, as well as in Swedish -because our Children's Choir was going to sing it at a service, jointly, with the senior choir. My granddaughter is the youngest member of the children's group and was just five years old when she had to learn that song. At first, it was difficult for me to teach her the words but having to practice it over and over, did help me -as much as it did her. And the service where they sang, I was so proud of her as everyone could tell that she was actually singing/saying the words -in both languages too -and not just moving her lips around a bit, pretending, like a lot of kids that age do, ya know. I'm hoping that song becomes as much of a favorite to her over her life -and holds as much meaning to her (hopefully without the sadness thought) as it has often brought to me -and thankfully, is doing that for me once again too. There is no timetable on things involved with grief -but my saying that to you is just "preaching to the choir." Still, doesn't make it any easier to deal with the loss factors -no matter what one's position in life is, does it?
Best I can tell you is "This too will pass." Eventually. Peace.

Grady said...

Now you've made me cry at work, Aunt Dorcas! I miss Mom (Darlaine) too - although it isn't "church songs" so much as silly little things like Burl Ives sings ...

As a consolation, though, that last picture of Trinity is one I could look at over and over again - and get a laugh every time!

Love to the whole bunch of ya'
Grady

SingingOwl said...

Thank you, PG...hugs and prayers to you. Wish you could visit and enjoy the color of fall with me.

Jeni, I'm glad it helped you! Thinking of you as you remember your mother too.

And Grady (((BIG HUG)))) it isn't that church songs make me think of your mother so much (MANY other songs do) but more think of things at my former church, or peopoel...and so on. Hugs to all of you too. And I hope someday you meet Miss Trinity in person. She reminds me A LOT of you at the same age.

Betsy said...

You mention longing to feel comfortable in your own skin again; in my prayers, I will hold the image of that fabulous picture of Trinity, that you will once again have the peace of heart and mind that she so perfectly demonstrates physically.

Every fall I find myself with unexpected moments of longing and melancholy; sometimes I don't even know what I'm missing, just that I feel my reflection tinged with sadness. Maybe it's the seasonal sense of things drawing to a close, ready or not.