Mid-fall, and the bike ride to the library today was perfect. The oaks still hold onto about half their leaves, and with the sun shining warmth through their branches, leaves glow deep red and bright orange. My favorite maple has lost every dazzling flame to the wind, leaves scattered on lawn and in gutter. The birches and ginkgoes are a perfect luminous yellow.
How I love trees, their seasons: now, they grow tired, prepare for hibernation, for diapause between the hot green of late summer and the soft petals of spring. Each year, I ride this arc with them, rejoice in their first pale breath in spring, dance in their growing glory in summer, marvel at the patience their long sleep teaches me. And this fall, I feel especially close to their sloughing off of summer activity in favor of rest and silence. I am weary, too, and I have had a season of much growth. I long for the soft pillow and cozy blanket of a long winter—deep, white snow; scarves and crocheted hats; zippers and slippers; drafts under doors and through windows while the humidifier runs all night to replace lost moisture.
I crave digestion time, when I can sit back and begin to understand everything I’ve felt and learned over the last six months. I want to come into balance with God, with humanity. I want the Spirit to whisper deep within me, remind me that YHWH is, that Jesus loves me dearly—the simple things that so easily slip into phantom in the plod of life.
I long for forgiveness, for myself, but more than that, I long to be so full of forgiveness that I pass it out in great sheaves to everyone around me. I want to learn how to balance strength and bravery with graciousness. I don’t ever want to give up on me, on what I believe, but I don’t want to be me at the cost of love.
So I ask for space, and I slough off the bright hot skin of summer in favor of simplicity—the snowy sheet of the season of my diapause. Come, winter. Come, Spirit, to my meditation in the silent spaces.