It’s been a really crazy month and I won’t be sorry to see the back of it! The last day of September was such a marker day, getting the ERA keys to the new house… but it was the beginning of the end for Jessica. All change, all change – just like the leaves on the trees, drying up and turning red and brown. The little house round the corner, so full of promise of a new beginning, now sits empty with both the prospective occupants a continent away: I don’t think we saw that coming! It doesn’t mean it’s not a new beginning… it just doesn’t look the way we thought it would.
You can’t get straight from Summer into Spring – there has to be some death, some room made for a change. It’s been so painful cutting back the old blooms of a happy season, recognising the weak parts of the plant, getting to the heart – but unless we submit to the Gardener’s cuts we will only live in pretence and bitterness: truth must prevail – honesty, humility and trust. The pain of loss is real, but there is healing in acceptance, patience, hope and letting go: the old must die.
Cuddle up and keep warm, wait patiently and don’t lose heart – have courage that it can work out for good. As Jessa just messaged me: ‘I miss you guys so much but realize I no longer have a place there. Loving you all regardless and missing my faraway home muchly…’ We’re all pulled between what was and what must be – the pain of being in-between – and yet the poignant beauty too, the memories of adventures risked and hearts joined. We keep our feet upon the road and don’t look back – although we carry all the good we found continually in our hearts as part of our identity. I guess it’s all about growing up – adding another ring to the enlarging trunk, growing bigger for ‘the display of His splendour’ (Isaiah 61v3).
These are Surrey beeches, not oaks, but what a beautiful sight; however, they’re temporary and transient, not permanent. When the leaves fall the landscape will change shape again – the skeletons will be revealed, the essential character of each tree. It’s the time to dig deep into the earth, hunker down for the winter’s rest, draw up fresh sustenance for the year as yet unseen.
November calls, a month to seek for comfort in the darkness, enjoy again what was through photographs and grateful memories, but prepare for all that is to come. Spring will come again – because hope lasts forever.