It speaks of the beauty of cycles and seasons, rhythms and rest, glory and goodness.
It sounds of cadence and crunch, drifting leaves and dried seed pods,
honking geese and crackling hearthfires.
An embrace, an exhale,
A metastasis, a muse,
A quietude.Muted Autumn.
A welcome home.
In obvious places, like flower blooms
And arranged bouquets,
But also in unexpected places,
Least expected corners,
And quiet edges.
In sparkly eyes and stories told with stutters and exclamations and repeated lines, six times or so.
In kitten paws and puppy dogs.
In late autumn blooms clinging through a threatening frost.
In kind words.
The unexpected text.
In a handclasp. Slow and meaningful and sure.
Handwritten happy mail among the bills.
Crisp sheets and a bed pillow to hug you.
Sunbeams lining the porch railing
And eggs frying brown in the skillet, butter popping.
We bear the privilege of leaning in to tug the satin ribbon and open the gift we’re offered. The gift of noticing and naming beauty and living with delight.
Love songs serenade, pulsate from the bluetooth speaker. It’s perched on the cupboard top.
On the shelf below, bags of coffeebeans stand in sentenial row.
Whoever was in charge of aesthetics brought each element together in a wonderful way.
Exposed brick walls join the corners of dark paint and weathered, knotted wood floors absorb and reflect warm light.
Green growing plants anchor a few tables in crisp white flowerpots.
My caramel apple cider is fragrant and sweet. The heat snugs my palms.
A welcome good morning on a chilly early Saturday morning.
It’s quiet apart from the speaker singing.
Apparently, most people are sleeping in on a weekend morning.
Lettered large on the wall, left of the menu board, muted words remind us
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ.”
Above the entrance outside, the coffeeshop name holds vigil above the doorway.
The aroma of espresso, brownies, and biscotti mingles in the inside warmth.
It’s a liturgy for sure.
A Liturgy. A benediction.
Peace and promise.
Deliciousness and delight.
Even the love songs croon the incredibility of loving someone else in a beyond yourself kind of way.
And I think on this new November day, we, each of us, His creation are His lovesong, a liturgy, a benediction, a beatitude back to Him.
He cradles his hot coffee, stirs the logs in the fireplace, leans over us and beams His delight and it reaches like sunrays in the sunrise stretching from horizon to horizon in immeasurable amounts of love.
“Welcome to a new day, my child. Look for all the little things.”
In Kansas, autumn is an inspiration of growth and dormancy, beginnings and endings.
Gardens wilt, die, tangle.
Leaves change. Mums and pansies bring the last fall hurrah.
And in our wheat fields, the farmers drill seeds with laborious hours and hope.
Each tiny kernel nestles in the furrows, rests, waits, and then it dies. In its death, it sprouts. It gives itself to bring forth another life to flourish abundant.
We witness this miracle as daily passersby. A bit of rain, sunshine days, and the fields turn a glowing green.
Baby wheat emerges from the soil, a struggle to new life. It grows. Stretching toward blue sky and embracing the autumn air.
And then, as days grow further into chill, it pauses. Reaches for rest and reset.
The beauty that is baby green wheat settles into a cycle of dormancy to wait, to survive through long winter months. Come spring, in turn, it will revive and grow again, begin to thrive in the embrace of springtime’s gentle sunshine.
An Invitation in the Hush
Early morning mist and fog wraps our little corner of the world in mystic wonder. Magic hides and dances. Light illuminates and obscures among the waltzing vapor.
The dogs dash from their kennel. Sniff the still morning and wander among the trees happy to explore the damp leaves.
Cats and kittens leap up ready to eat. Bella bounces ahead. White paws and ginger fur accentuated in the morning gray.
The Purina clatters into dishes and the cats crunch contentedly.
I wrap my oversized gray sweater more snugly. Hug it to me and breathe in the morning.
The mix of autumn and fog and forty-seven degrees speaks of peace and place.
A hush. A quieting.
The Gift of Eucharisteo and Tuesday
It’s early morning dark and there’s Nyqyil on the counter and I need to refresh my water with ice and there’s a semi-clean floor with dirt piles wanting disposed of.
There’s soft light and a bout of coughing, loosening my chest after all night, calling me to wakefulness before I would really like.
There’s a teakettle to bubble and the aroma of apple spice.
I find matches. They hiss, strike, spring forth flame. Light flickers in the glass of the pumpkin butter candle.
My mug is warm and wonderful and it carries the word eucharisteo stamped along the front.
Eucharisteo, the Greek lexicon says, means “I give thanks” or “I am giving thanks.”
And isn’t an ordinary November Tuesday morning a good day for thanksgiving, chest cold or not?
And I’ve long loved Tuesdays since 2013 or so, when I read @emilypfreeman‘s book Simply Tuesday and the embrace of the simple, the small, the ordinary right in our everyday Tuesdays.
Much as the mundane can mind-numb me, the beauty of ordinary loveliness, the rhythm of routines, the peace of living a quiet life and working with our hands is such an astonishing eucharisteo moment.
I open my palms wide and receive the gift.