Goodbye Summer

Fall is by far my favorite season.  It brings golden leaves, bluer skies, and cool breezes.  After a summer dominated by smoke and fire, it was a great relief to see two days of rain and cooler temperatures.  I looked out the window and noticed something different along with seeing a blue sky – the trees were swaying.  It took me a while to realize that we barely had any wind since the heat and drought set in late June.  The wind usually blows so much that we practically fall over when it doesn’t, so welcome back wind!  I will try not to complain when you blow my hair all over the place!

With summer coming to a close and fall approaching fast, I wanted to share the highlights of my summer in photos.  I went for a visit to Lewistown in June and enjoyed taking Mom to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant.  I enjoyed several walks with my family, before the smoke rolled in, on the River’s Edge Trail.  My husband and I celebrated our 25th anniversary by taking a trip to San Jose and San Francisco.  We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on foot and it was exhilarating.  Finally, in August I was thrilled to see Drew in a tuxedo for the first time for my niece’s wedding.

I admit that the smokey skies made their way into my spirit.  I forgot that the smallest of gifts are the most important:  a mourning dove perched outside of the dining room window, the chatter of chickadees on my way back to the office, golden spots of sun on the floor, ceramic pigs strategically placed around my house by my neighbor for me to find, time with my husband on the couch watching Suits, and a smile from a coworker.

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I came across the quote in the picture above during one of my morning meditation sessions.  When we live in our heads, our lives can pass by unnoticed.  We miss the bird placed on a branch in the perfect place for us to look up and see him.  We miss the cloud in the sky shaped like a heart or the uplifting lyrics of a song.  It’s better to let our fearful thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky than to end up underneath them for months, even years.  Remember the cartoons when a character had a raining cloud over his head wherever he went?  That is exactly what it is like to live in our heads.  This is something I am guilty of and I have realized that life is far too precious to go by unnoticed for even a moment.

Next month will be three years since Christian passed away.  The turning leaves take me back to the months before his passing and it can be very painful – like it just happened.  As the day approaches I want to see the world as I would want Christian to see it – a miracle in process, given to us by a God who loves us.

 

The Big Sky

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This photo was taken from Hansen reservoir by Lewistown, MT

I woke up to something I hadn’t seen in what seems like weeks – a sunrise!  For the last while, a good portion of Montana has been covered with a blanket of hazardous air from forest fires.  The sky was a funny grey color and it smelled like a campfire outside.  When the sun shined into the house it was an alien, orange shade.  Thankfully cooler weather blew in last night and the air is no longer at a hazardous level.  I have found myself pausing throughout the day to watch the white pillows in the sky float by, wondering which one my Christian is on.

I noticed some trees around town were already turning yellow.  It is the end of August but it still seems too soon.  One of my favorite sounds on days like today is the rustling of leaves as the wind blows and the sound of Eurasian doves cooing in the evening light.

This is the last photo taken of Christian and me together.
This is the last photo taken of Christian and me together.

Fall is my favorite season and already I am looking forward to the changing leaves and cooler winds.  This will be a difficult season to pass through because October 27th will be the one year anniversary of Christian’s passing.  October 12 would have been his 22nd birthday.  The good Lord has helped us through the most difficult first year and I know the pain will never fully go away.  I will miss Christian and long to see him for the rest of my time on this earth.

On the evening before Christian passed away, he said that he wished his pain would stop so he could just sit still, look at things and really enjoy them.  Now, in heaven, he can see things far more beautiful.  When I hear the leaves blowing down the sidewalk this fall and see the beautiful, autumn hued, blue sky, I will enjoy it all the more because of Christian’s grace.

The Promise of Autumn

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Fall is my favorite time of the year.  My oldest son loves summer because he hurts less when he is warm.  My husband loves warmer weather so he can take his sports car or motorcycle out.  When I was young I enjoyed summer because I didn’t have to go to school, I could go swimming and stay up late.  

As I became older, I started to notice things about autumn that I enjoyed.  I noticed how the sun would shine into the room at a slant and how the sky seemed bluer.  When the sun rises, the leaves look like gold as they flutter in the morning breeze.  The sound of leaves rolling down the sidewalk or rustling in the trees gives me a sense of peace.  I know they will soon fall and the trees will once again be naked, so I enjoy them while they hang on.  

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I started to compose a poem in my head while I was helping my son earlier:

Leaves blowing in the autumn breeze

as the curtains gently dance.

Sunshine in my kitchen

gives life to figurines on the sill.

The peace mimics a trance

and my soul feels at ease.

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Soon, the typical Montana winter will arrive.  Until then, I will keep the windows open when I can and enjoy the beautiful colors.  The leaves turn beautiful to reassure us that they will be back in the spring.  The starlings gather and dance in the sky to entertain us before they return next year.  I have even heard some house finches squeezing in a little more singing and a sparrow courting a female one last time.  I will keep feeding them all winter as I look forward to new life in the spring.