A Time for Thanks

IMG_3615Look what came to see me this morning!

I had planned to energetically rake the thousands of leaves lying in golden drifts on our back yard, but God had something else in mind. Such is His way so many times, and yet I’m always surprised. Does God shake His head with a gentle, understanding smile? I pray again the Quaker refrain: What You Will, When You Will, As You Will. Yes, let my day be His day for His glory.

So the rake stands still, leaning lonely and wistful against the mud room shelves. And I sit here at my desk, looking out on a yard showered with leaves and glistening raindrops. This is a time, Ecclesiastes style, not for outdoor yard work but rather for resting, thinking, and indoor projects.

Ah, November. Time of Thanks. Time of Gratefulness. And I am grateful for those beautiful leaves. In fact, I’d just mentioned to my husband the other night how I hated to rake them as they’re so beautiful to see out the window. He laughed and, eyeing the branches above, replied there would be plenty more.

All those leaves… Each one, like snowflakes, is unlike its neighbor. This one’s mottled yellow with brown spots and just a tinge of soft red. And the yellow ones! Yellow seems too simple a word to describe their color. They are golden, honey, caramel, and topaz. I pick one up; it has only six small, round dots of brown, and the faintest memory of lingering green in one lobe and an early blush of the faintest red on another. Then there are the red ones–ruby, burnt and brick red. Red has spattered all over the leaves in varying intensities as if sprayed by a sputtering air brush. They cling together in this rain, fast friends in their last days.

I can’t help but think that the trip down from the tall maple must have been fun. They don’t just drop, like I did long ago off a medium-high branch from a live oak tree. They twirl and dance and lilt through the air, then softly and gently join their companions.

Earlier this morning I caught a quick glimpse of a squirrel, a hickory nut clenched between his sharp teeth. He jumped from one tree to another and barely caught onto a thin branch of the second tree. There he swung, back and forth, back and forth as if on a whiplash! But he hung on and he held on to that hickory nut. In a moment, he regained his composure and scampered along toward the tree trunk.

So for a moment more, I will pause and embrace the lessons in those leaves, that squirrel. I’ll fall, let go of my plans, and exult in God’s hand. I’ll swing and hold fast to the Lord. Let the rains come; I am not alone.

“I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and be your Savior.” Isaiah 46:4

Thank you, heavenly Father.

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