blustery, adjective, It looks like a rather blustery day, today
-(of weather or a period of time) characterized by strong winds
I lulled in bed as usual this morning--suspended in that lazy rocking motion, that back and forth between laying down and getting up. After changing my mind a dozen times, finding reasons to snuggle down below the covers, I finally sprung up and my cheeks were the first to feel it. The cool crispness in the air of our house. Not stuffy, or artificially cool, but naturally chilled. Air freshened by the arrival of Fall and all things Fall. Three plump pumpkins on our front porch. Colorful bunches of crunchy leaves in the backyard. That first slap of cool that air smacks your face and neck in the morning, catching you off guard. Almost knocking you off balance.
I felt it this morning on the sidewalk, my scarf trying to catch the flow of the wind and slip off my neck, and it made me stand up straighter. Ah, I said to myself, hello there, old friend. You've come back. After a summer of sticky and sweaty, sunburned and never quite ready for bathing-suits, Fall has tip toed back on stage, puffed up its cheeks up for a string of blustery days, and now stands behind us, or beside us, red in the face and exasperated, ready to blow.
This fall I am feeling differently from any other season I've experienced. As I pull thicker layers out of storage, and make note to put the heavier comforter on the bed, I'm wondering what the heart does to ready itself for the harsh months of a winter full of unknowns. A winter whose white blanket of snow cannot guarantee the continuance of bright green life below. A winter who promises to grab on to each inch of bare skin that peeks out from under warm layers and send you on your way shivering. A winter that will eventually give way to summer, who can't guarantee any specific life either. The change of seasons propels the cycle, assuring us that the bulbs we planted will emerge--seemingly defiant, but not--from the ground and a row of furry babies will be spotted in a nearby pasture. But when they change again, will we all be there to touch one another and breathe in deep sighs of relief. Will we open our eyes again and say Ah, you're still here, too. Thank God.
This pair of seasons approaching is a harsh duo. They are not the sunshine seasons, the emergence-of new-life seasons. They are the brace-yourselves seasons. They bring with them the darkness, the chill, the weakening of the body's defenses. What's the equivalent of a warm sweater for this heart? How do I tell it to rest easy and warm on the inside despite what might happen out here in the world? I know God is the answer. This isn't my "duh" moment. Each verse of encouragement I read, or quote of the virtue of a beautiful life well-lived, provides me momentary relief. A moment's distraction. But I am still anxious, still worriedly making lists in hopes I can achieve my way out of this dread I feel. So if I linger too long in bed, or get caught standing absentmindedly on the sidewalk in the morning, understand I'll be back soon. I'm just sneaking back inside myself, deep down, searching for warmth, pasting scraps across the surface of my heart in a pathetic attempt at armor. Give me some time, forgive me. And please know that I understand only His presence here can lift me up, only the warmth of His hands cupped around my heart can protect it from the worst possible outcome: that when the snow melts, slinking lazily down into the street, an empty patch of ground will appear where grass used to grow, breath used to move in and out, and life used to be.