Newsletter October 2008
This morning I got up and went upstairs to watch the sunrise
through the big window looking out over our back yard and the
meadow stretching out beyond that. What a treat it was to watch
the sunlight pouring through the golden birch and cottonwood leaves
that had a touch of frost glistening on them. There wasn’t
even a puff of wind blowing so the scene was devoid of motion
except for an occasional leaf that would sever its ties from a
tree and float gently to the ground. Perhaps a minute would go
by between falling leaves. Tranquility and beauty combined with
the Master’s paintbrush are certainly soothing to the soul.
As I stood there taking in the ambience of the scene before me,
my mind started processing the short moment of flight that each
one of those falling leaves got to experience in their departure
from the heights of the trees. I started counting, “one-thousand-one,
one-thousand-two, one-thousand -three…“ and discovered
that from the highest cottonwood to the ground, it took about
three seconds for a leaf to make its one and only journey through
space. Now I am sure the winds of fall will blow the leaves around
the yard a bit but the flight of a lifetime from tree to ground
was over. I sat down with a pencil and paper and did a little
math. From the time the leaves pop out with their little mouse-ear-sized
leaves sometime in early May or thereabouts, they are attached
to the same tree in the same spot for the duration of their lifespan….approximately
five months. There are 1,290,000 seconds that lapse over a five
month span. So, for three seconds out of over a million,
a leaf gets a brief taste of adventure before it takes its place
on the forest floor perhaps providing a hiding place and insulation
for a mosquito that will winter there and emerge after a long
winter to announce the arrival of yet another spring.
What occurs to me is the incredible rhythm that God has set in
motion in His creation, including in each of us as we make our
brief journey through life. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 says that “To
everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under
heaven: a time to be born and a time to die…” etc.
The scriptures also tell us that God sending His son to die for
us was accomplished “in the fullness of time.” God
really is a God of timing and rhythm and it seems to me that just
as there is a rhythm to the tides and seasons and of life itself,
there is also a sense of rhythm in our individual lives. As with
the seasons, there seems to be a repeating rhythm in our lives
of new beginnings…of watering…growing…maturing
and then that short but exciting time of harvest and celebration
followed by a time of rest and reloading for another cycle.
I know for some people, spring is the most exciting time of the
year for them. For others it is another of the seasons. For me,
autumn is the time of year when I feel the most creative and productive.
I tend to just drink in the beauty and sensations that come with
autumn. I love watching and smelling the fallen leaves and pungent
berries and the hearing the sounds of geese, ducks and sandhill
cranes getting their formations in order for the long journey
south. There is a certain peacefulness that comes with knowing
that another busy summer has come and gone, the freezer is full
and the lawn tools collected and put in their winter storage places.
Once the first snowflakes start to flutter down from the sky in
a few weeks, it will be time to look back at the pictures of all
of our guests and remember their joy at catching their first salmon
or seeing their first whale. But for now, let me encourage you
to meditate on the second verse of the old hymn, Great Is Thy
Summer and winter, and spring-time and harvest,
Sun moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness , mercy and love.
God bless you.