Through A Glass, Dimly

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The windows in the office area of Ascension don’t open and they are made of a glass that looks like it might be leaded—I don’t even know what it’s called but I do know it is not completely transparent so when I look out my windows everything’s blurred. I chafe a bit at that—I like looking out; even more, on cool (or at least cooler) days, I wish I could open my windows.

Fall in the River Region here in Central Alabama is not as spectacular as other places. Driving around in the past few days I noticed that after the heavy rains and wind of week before last, we’ve pretty much gone straight into the winter landscape of denuded, grey trees and shriveled up and brown kudzu with only a few exceptions here and there. Fall is not about a whole landscape but individual trees dressed in fall foliage that are simply stunning.

Yesterday, as I gathered my things after church, I looked out one of our windows and realized that for all its opacity, the window offered me one perfect glimpse of autumn. It seemed appropriate to be able to stop and look through the glass, ever so dimly, as Thanksgiving Weekend wrapped up, as the first Sunday in Advent settled into me and my thoughts turned to the reflections I will write this week in preparation for the Advent retreat I am leading next Saturday. We’re supposed to get more rain this week and I suspect by week’s end, the color will be gone.

The harvest is done and now come the months of slowing down, even in the midst of a lot of busy-ness, of letting eyes rest a bit from the wonder of so much color, life and gift all around me. My dad will arrive to visit in a couple of weeks and, God willing, so will Maria, a couple of days before Christmas. This is the inside time of winter, so different from what we experienced in Southeast Florida.  I like the sense of gathering in, gathering together. I am glad for the fallow season.

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