Faith, Family, Nature

Autumn’s Promise

Steve on Wildcow

I’m sitting in my husband’s work truck surrounded by an expanse of rolling pasture land. Tall prairie grasses blanket the hilly terrain in shades of color merely a faded version of their summer splendor— the under-story of once vibrant green blades now variegated with autumn gold and orange.

The entire landscape will soon fade to grey and brown as the final days of autumn give way to winter.

Variegated Prairie GrassIt’s peaceful here, with not a house in site. But that will soon change as the purpose of this outing is for my husband to “shoot grade” for the construction of a private road that will pass through this land. I watch, and chuckle, as our toy Yorkie-Poo attempts to navigate his way through the towering grasses to follow after Steve.

I am pondering a letter I wrote to my mother a few days ago —my attempt to encourage her to find the grace to accept the emerging challenges and the many inevitable changes she is facing as she ages.

At 88 she is well into the autumn of her life. Physical changes are beginning to impact the realities of what she can manage. Activities formerly taken for granted are now becoming details that must be negotiated. New limitations increasingly threaten to shrink the territory of her independence.

I can only imagine how she must feel —the colorful, vibrant days of summer now pages turned on the calendar of her life, and the smell of coming winter in the crisp fall air. I imagine it could easily seem that most of what constitutes a full LIFE is now merely a reflection in the rear-view mirror.

Yet as I look out over these grey fields I notice something else. Every plant within site has reached maturity. This is the moment in which all of the nutrients and energy channeled into the spreading of roots and sprouting of stalks and leaves required for maturation find their true purpose. It’s all about the seeds.

Within the dry, lifeless remnants of a more vibrant season, are housed a treasure. Each plant encapsulates the power of replication and multiplication.  Pods, rhizomes, bulbs, cones and seed-heads all hold the promise of new life. Everything that came before, from germination to the emergence of the first true leaf, to flowering and fruiting, was for one purpose—to produce seeds.

Likewise, in the narrative of our lives the last few decades are never meant to be the anti-climax at the end of our story. I believe they are intended to be the most exciting part! This is the season in which the seeds of a lifetime are finally dispersed and one’s investment is truly realized. That is the Promise of Autumn.

I love you, my Jesus. Give me the wisdom to invest my life in what matters. Let me walk in grace and in truth. Give me the strength to love sacrificially. Allow my life to be poured out as a drink offering for your glory alone. Help me to invest my seeds wisely.

And Lord, please comfort and strengthen my mamma to walk the final leg of her journey with grace and with joy. And give her the blessing of seeing the seeds of her faith bearing fruit in even the most unlikely of places.

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