The end of August approaches and autumn hints appear: the sound of crickets at night, the slight coolness in the morning, the shortening of daylight, the back-to-school sales, the small flocks of birds hovering about, the lines of mum plants full of buds readying for purchase, and the beauty of late summer blooms.
One can see that subtle change of color on tree leaves and corn stalks. Yet, it’s hard to detect this year. Green is the dominant color. Green — at the end of the summer. It’s been wet and everything has kept growing.
People’s lawns are green. Trees and bushes and weeds are thick with large leaves and new growth. My outdoor hardy hibiscus didn’t flower as much or as long, expending too much energy into leaves and stalks and enjoying too much shade from neighboring trees that grew in feet and density. My coleus have taken off. Flowers and sweet potato vines in my backyard flower bed have created a dense mosaic of color attracting equally colorful butterflies, bees and even goldfinches and an occasional hummingbird. I even have to trim back the vines that threaten to suffocate plants underneath.
I could not have known this past spring that I would still be enjoying springlike green at the end of summer.
This past spring I could not have prepared for the unplanned and painful end of a part-time job that allowed the beginning of a full-time job this fall.
I could not have predicted the sharp and quick decline of my sister’s health and her passing.
I could not have seen how plodding through the Old Testament (sacred scriptures that Jews and Muslims also revere which I find awesome) has given me a deeper love and understanding of who God is and how He really cares for me as individual but also that He cares for the vulnerable.
I could not have planned the surprised discovery of miniature eclipse shadows in front of my home as I endeavored to experience the partial solar eclipse without traveling or special equipment.
In the spring I had already planned a trip to Canada for this month, but I could have not anticipated all the fun, blessings, surprises, insights, and memories with a variety of people those ten days had provided.
I know we “should” plan and prepare, and I do. But I think is very much part of our western culture and not necessarily the correct way at times.
I remind myself continually that I need to hold my agenda and to-do lists and my “five-year plans” loosely. I really do not know what tomorrow will bring let alone years ahead. But I know that I can hold tightly to God who is just and good and perfect even though I really do not know what is going on or understand what He is doing (or not doing).
And maybe, just maybe, I’ll see green this winter.