I’ve been driving in the silence lately.
No radio, no iPhone Pandora, no phone conversations.
But I’m listening.
This time of year, things are constantly changing around me. Unlike summer, where you wake up each day expecting to sweat, or even winter, when it doesn’t matter what you wear that day because your coat will cover it, fall provides something new each day. The colors of leaves change drastically overnight. It can pour buckets of rain one day, then soak the earth in an abundance of sunshine the next. Layers are critical because you never know whether the cooler temperatures are here to stay or if summer will pop back in before saying goodbye. (Just for the record, I am still holding onto the hope that summer hasn’t said her final goodbyes yet. I may have worn a puffy jacket for the past week, but today I felt freedom checking the weather then leaving that jacket hung on its hook when I left the house. 50 degrees never felt so good!)
In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the cold fronts and the holidays, it becomes easy to miss what’s going on in front of me.
Many trees have surrendered to cold wind and shed their foliage, but there are still some brilliant colors lining the streets of my commute. I don’t want to miss the last glimpses of orange and yellow contrasted with the gray autumn sky. I don’t want to miss the angle of sunlight that so perfectly causes the hills to glow, turning browns into golds.
I am normally someone who enjoys singing along to the radio as I run errands and destress from the day. But instead of a song lyrics getting stuck in my head, I am hearing the whispers of a Creator and Father. I find myself unexpectedly talking out loud, thanking Him for eyes to see Him in the change around me. While He Himself does not change, He is the one responsible for weaving together the transitions in perfect pairings.
It’s like the collages I used to make in high school. It was “the thing to do” among teenage girls, before Pinterest ideas came onto the scene – cutting out pictures from magazines and mod-podging them together to cover binders and lockers and birthday cards. While the pictures did not all necessarily go together, they worked together to decorate my life and showcase my personality. Mine normally had daffodils and words in fun fonts and trees and dream dresses.
I feel like that’s what God is doing during this season. This weekend, we were dusted with a light snow, and that snow on orange trees was odd for this part of the country, but somehow perfect. Coats and scarves are coming out earlier than normal, but Thanksgiving is later, and my heart can’t decide between clinging to November or anticipating Christmas.
When I look at the world around me, stopping to really notice what’s here, it seems the world is sewing together what doesn’t match to make a perfect patchwork quilt. I want to cuddle into that quilt, to find my favorite squares and notice the colors I never would have paired together but that somehow work. I want to drape it over my shoulders as a child with a cape and fully embrace this moment, this gift, this grace. I want to wear out that quilt until it is faded from love and use, not looking ahead at the next project of the Creator but being grateful for this one.
Driving in the silence has allowed me to hear more and see more and savor. I hope you are able to see and savor this season in all of its mismatched glory.