The frost was on the pumpkin this morning out on Bittersweet Farm. The leaves are letting go high in the Maples around the old house dappling the grass with beautiful yellow-gold and orange leaves.
Just a few months ago I put on a jacket and sat out on the porch longing for those same leaves to bud and turn from the light-green of early spring to the dark green of early summer. Now they are falling to the earth and a chill west-wind is blowing them across the yard in the beautiful dance we call autumn. The leaves that remain hold the sunlight glow as it streams down through the woods.
This afternoon I will sweep the leaves off into the fields or burn them. More will follow. In a few weeks the trees will be bare as pencils again. Last week the Turkey Vultures stopped on a Sunday afternoon on their way south. They sat for a while as if brooding in the low branches of the Walnuts and on the Volleyball post until I disturbed them trying to get their picture, then they fled to the peak of the barn for the rest of the afternoon.
This week the first Sandhill Cranes were out in the near-north field calling. In the last few days they have numbered about a dozen. The corn is gone from the fields and the deer are out nibbling away at the nubs left on the ground.
I wonder if they know they are safe as long as they don’t stray to the west or into the woods north of the far-north field. I wandered out into that part of the woods north of the north field within a few hundred yards of the Falling Waters Trial and a couple hunters were out scouting a place to lie in wait with their crossbows.
Along the edges of all the fields the Bittersweet is easy to spot this time of year. I’m planning to make a grapevine wreath and decorate it with clusters of Bittersweet to remind me of the powerful truth that God turns all things to a good purpose for those who love Him and cooperate with his purpose of conforming them to the image of His son.
I button my shirt-jacket against the west wind. It’s growing a little colder every day. The Maples flame yellow and orange and red against the blue October sky. The cold air clears my head and stirs my heart. One day God will take away all that was bitter and all that is left will be sweet forever. That is the story I live that comes back warmly to my heart, especially in the waning days of autumn.
Summit Township, Michigan
October 18, 2018