Hot Apple Cider and Skunks

Sep 17, 2011

Just for us

In my part of the world, the leaves are turning their bellies to the sky and withering. Hurricane Irene blasted salt air against the trees a few weeks ago, causing a premature fall. The crickets’ song fades as their numbers drop. Birds and squirrels flit about in the cool air, sensing the impending frost. And skunks mate this time of year. You can smell them everywhere. I don’t know if it’s their idea of romance or their way of getting some privacy.

Changing seasons cause me sadness. This has been true since I lost my son nearly ten years ago. At first it was excruciatingly painful, as if time was dragging me along behind the huge wheels of its merciless wagon. The first crocus to bloom, the turning of the leaves, Christmas…reminders that time has no friends, makes no favors. Now there is a softer sadness. I go willingly along, making new memories, looking back less.  Still it’s there, and I’ve learned to let it come and be a part of me.

I stopped trying to figure out where I’m going a long time ago. I simply trust God, the One who holds this messy world in His hands, who sees purpose and design through eyes of love and compassion. As I walk into this next season of time and watch the leaves turn yellow, orange and red I’m reminded that He did that just for us. He also made the skunk scent and I guess He did that just for them. It’s all His design.

The same God who strings the stars in the heavens sees our fear and fatigue.  For some, it’s hard to keep going. I can’t share a hot apple cider with my son on a crisp autumn day anymore, ever again, like we used to. But I can stroll into this season accompanied by the One who painted the trees and sky. The great wheels of time lurch and begin again to roll forward.

And He knows where they go.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heaven.  Eccesiastes 3:1