Autumn leaves it's mark

Leaves and I go back a long way.

In the autumn of my eleventh year, my parents and sister went missing in a neighbouring African country at war. The heart-collision of my childhood security splintering into the interruptive terror of abandonment was powerful. Vividly I can recall standing outdoors clutching the strong hand of my grandmother, and tipping my head back to look at the leaves above my head. The unexpected tumble of my naiive expectations to a level of such sinister grief somehow blanched my brain quite blank and all I could focus on were the blurry outlines of the leaves as they twitched and swam across the sky of my tears.

Throughout the rest of my childhood I can remember collecting leaves and pressing them, or rubbing them with vasoline and making them glossy treasures. I used to stack them, crumble them and rub over them with a pencil. And now even as a grown up, I sometimes keep the leaves the cat catches for me at night.
My life doesn't quite follow the dependable, reassuring route I expect it to. Sure, everyone knows that there are traffic jams, road blocks and speed humps - inconveniences that we navigate around with flexibility, a little re-negotiating, tears and we are back on track. But a few times in a life span, there are montrous dead ends, collisions and the journey suddenly halts in a way it has never done before. Sometimes these heart-stopping moments throw us so far off track that it is unthinkable to imagine continuing on like we had before. Sometimes the bleakness of where we find ourselves stranded in is terrifying.

Whatever the abrupt smash of where our unconcious routine meets the rough edge of unexpected reality, something ends. We are hanging by a thread, competely disoriented for a moment. It feels like the rhythm has ceased, that the journey has evaporated and that we are frozen in time.

But the journey never misses a beat and although we are too stunned to see it yet, we have just begun to travel in a new direction, down the trail of the interruption; mapless, clueless and at a loss as to where we are.

It is no accident that around me the leaves around me are crisping up and drifting down. In the autumn season, I see sunlight turning the leaves to pure gold and in the face of the interruption of heart chaos, I can see how for this season, the cycle is still simply turning. Each dying bronze leaf is blown away and there will be stark winter arms raised to the cold sky before spring breathes easy warmth once more.

The journey continues on.

Despite the twists of defining direction changers.

The LORD will surely comfort Zion & will look with compassion on all her ruins;
he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD.
Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
Isaiah 51:3

{Pre-edited autumn images above courtesy of my sister Abby}

Sammy  – (May 19, 2009 at 8:38 AM)  

Wow Amy, that's one of the verses given to me during the time we have just gone through. I totally believe that no matter what our circumstances here and now say He will make our wastelands like Eden. He is good, all the time!

Anonymous –   – (June 7, 2009 at 9:47 AM)  

Its in the darkest moments, in the quagmire of pain that the dawning of the new day is so appreciated, the sun so inviting, its warmth so comforting and its light so directional. I am praying for the miracle of that new day to be seen in your situation. Alex

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