by Lori R. Keeton
The trees in Charlotte are gorgeous right now. Everywhere you look there are red, orange and yellow leaves- a reminder that Fall is officially here.
For a shopaholic like me, it is also the time to set aside an entire day to switch out the dresses and sandals in my closet for pants and boots.
Though I am thrilled to give up swimsuits for bulky sweaters, I am also a little sad to see the days of seemingly endless sunlight and patio time with my friends come to an end.
As I thought more about the changing seasons, I was reminded of the passage from Ecclesiastes about there being a time for everything:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
I typically hear that passage read at baptisms, weddings and funerals.
If this were a Highlights magazine, this would be the time to ask “Which one is not like the others?”
Births and weddings are exciting– beginnings are exciting. They are like a big, blank page that you can decorate however you choose. The sky is the limit. The hope of all that could be fills the air.
But when the page is filled, when the music stops, when the marriage or the friendship or life itself ends, our hope often ends as well. In our grief, we tend to forget that just as babies and marriages carry with them an element of what could be, so too do endings.
In a month or so, the leaves on the trees will be gone. In their place will be grey, barren tree branches. We will have all but forgotten the beauty of the reds and oranges. We will swear it is the coldest winter ever.
But before we know it, it will be Spring. And the trees will be green and filled with gorgeous blooms. We will all but forget the grey, barren branches.
As you watch the seasons change, remember that our seasons- and the seasons of those we love- change too. And when the branches are grey and barren, don’t forget that Spring- and a host of could be’s- are just around the corner.