Growing Season (a PINK Tuesday post)

Wind Blown Leaves

Wind Blown Leaves (Photo credit: Photos by Lina)

I still remember the day that I turned 20.

I can picture myself walking across the campus of the University of Wyoming, having had to turn up my collar and zip my jacket to my chin in order to keep from shivering in the crisp autumn air.

It was all a sort of vivid reality check – a sensory assault, really. As if the realization that I wasn’t a teenager anymore wasn’t tangible enough, enter that cold north wind whose breath sent brittle leaves skipping across the pavement – a sort of prophetic song and dance to usher in the season’s first snowfall, which that year had to come in September.

I had been married for just over a month on the day that I turned 20. Maybe it was because I was in multiple poetry classes at the time, but I remember my thoughts unfolding in rhyme and cadence as I walked through that milestone morning of awakening.

It was the day that I grew up.

I don’t have a memory like this to accompany any other birthday (isn’t that strange?). Something changed in me on that day – I can’t explain it, I don’t understand it – but I remember it as if it happened yesterday, especially when the first hints of winter come around.

Years later, a thirty-something with life experience and a growing family to boot, I caught that same wind-of-change as I made my nightly rounds at the YMCA camp where I worked and lived. The chain on the old flagpole clanged loudly as I walked past, my feet clacking on the wooden boardwalk between the old camp buildings. The chill in my nostrils woke everything up inside of me, giving me the feeling that I was on the brink of something new and that everything was about to change… again.

A song came to mind on my walk that night – the lyrics and a YouTube link are here, for you to enjoy on this PINK Tuesday.

Maybe autumn-changing-into-winter doesn’t strike you as prime growing season, but I assure you that it is. Or, it can be.

May the chill in the air awaken you to God’s new thing – and stir your soul to holiness.

Wind and Spirit, by Chris Rice

I hear a sound and turn to see a new direction on that rusty weather vane              Suddenly the dead brown leaves are stirred to scratch their circle dances down the lane

And now the sturdy oaks start clappin’ with the last few stubborn leaves that won’t let go     I can hear Old Glory snappin’ and her tattered rope now clangin’ against the pole

And my breath is snatched away and a chill runs up my spine                                       Feels like somethin’s on the way, so I look up to the sky, I look up to the sky

And from the corners of creation comes the Father’s holy breath                                  Ridin’ on a storm with tender fierceness, stirring my soul to holiness, stirring my soul to holiness

I see the lifeless dust now resurrected, swirling up against my window pane                   And carried ‘cross the distance come the long awaited fragrances of earth and rain

And out across the amber field the slender grasses bend and bow and kiss the ground And in them I see the beauty of the souls who let the spirit lay them down

And it takes my breath away. and a tear comes to my eye                                             Feels like somethin’s on the way, so I look up to the sky, I look up to the sky

And from the corners of creation comes the Father’s holy breath                                  Ridin’ on a storm with tender fierceness, stirring my soul to holiness, stirring my soul to holiness

And like a mighty wind blows with a force I cannot see, I will open wide my wings, I will open wide my wings, I will open wide my wings and let the spirit carry me

From the corners of creation comes the Father’s holy breath                                        Ridin’ on a storm with tender fierceness, stirring my soul to holiness, stirring my soul to holiness

I hear a sound and turn to see a new direction on that rusty weather vane.

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