October is change. Leaves change and whole trees and bushes seem to catch fire in reds, yellows and orange. The mornings awake with a chill, but the frost hasn’t hit the pumpkins yet meaning there are still tomatoes to pick. This is one of those many in-between times. The end of summer leads to the beginning of winter. And for me, it’s remembering the death of my son just over a year ago while living life in the now.
It was walking in the woods over lunch with my two girls that I had a sudden sense of peace. The sun was shining down on the patchwork of dead leaves carpeting the path in browns and yellows. My daughter suddenly grabbed my hand and there we were walking together. The trail ahead had a tree leaning over it. The wild grape vines completed the small little tunnel. Ahead past the tunnel of trees and grapevines, I could see the sun shining, but I couldn’t see where the path went beyond it.
And I was ok with that.
Earlier this week, I had breakfast with a friend who has had some similar tough experiences. I ate my Eggs Benedict with fruit while he worked on the massive veggie omelet on his plate. A couple times one of us got slightly teary eyed and we spoke in a kind of short hand that people who have been through the valley of the shadow of death use with each other. It has a hard meal together, but it was a needed communion for both of us.
And now as I sit here, I realize that life is like that path in the woods where life and death mingle.
It is only through death that we find life and in Christ even death, pain and suffering takes on meaning and purpose.
This is redemption. Not just redemption of our souls, but of our lives today.
Fall tells me that it is only through death we find life.
Fall tells me that winter, cold and darkness is coming.
But Fall also tells me that after that, comes Spring.