The calendar promises a few more weeks before Winter descends, but the last day of November dawns and I feel Autumn slipping quietly away.
There's a tree in my garden whose name--Koto No Ito--it means "strings of a harp." And I might've thought this name was only a description of the leaves in all their finely cut glory, draping like strings from delicate branches.
But then Autumn comes and the leaves begin to sing with a beauty that haunts and I see what this name is really about. Because this tree might not make a sound, except when the wind dances through it's branches or the rain drops softly against leaves. But I hear it now, the way these strings of a harp are whispering the lilting song of hope.
I might feel a bit of sorrow watching all these leaves drift down to an earth that will swallow them in darkness, return them to the dust from which they were born. But I listen to the singing first, all this beauty emerging and descending, and I hear it clear as the notes of a harp.
God, He's here in the changing the of the seasons, carefully laying to rest what will give birth to new life when the light of Spring returns. And it's okay to grieve what's been buried, but we don't grieve as if there is no hope.
Because there is Hope.
And we'll see Him most clearly when we let Him plant all our pieces in the dark of life's soil and wait for the emerging He'll bring.
So as Autumn gently takes her leave and Winter creeps in to cover and darken and silence, I listen to the leaves singing His song and I choose to lay it all down. Because what's buried in Him is never lost and what's withheld from Him is never the life we're meant to live.
And that life He's made for me? It's the only one I want to live.