Joy in Autumn

A crisp autumn day.  Fall has taken its time to come, but finally it has arrived.  The colder air came first, but now the leaves on the trees have begun to change – some bright reds and oranges, some mild golden leaves, an occasional purple bunch, and of course, many that are still green.  Each in its own time.  Each one has its own path, its own time to turn colors, its own time to fall and bring delight to little feet as they crunch them along their little walk, or those little hands that find it, thinking it is the most beautiful and most intricate leaf they have ever collected, or those giggles and shrieks of laughter that come from jumping into a huge pile of multicolored leaves before they are raked or blown into the woods to one day become fertile ground for new life.

After many, many moons, our family was returned to beautiful New England, a place of all four seasons, a place where we can reach the mountains or the ocean under 2 hours, where apple picking is really a thing (there are two great orchards right down the street from our home!), where cider, leaf piles, and all things pumpkin are part of what we call “fall,” a return to family and to friendships we had made so very long ago, a homecoming to the mission territory that never truly left our heart and prayers, but a mission we knew God had to work on us first before sending us back.  We left New England as newly weds, and 16 years and 5 states later, we’ve returned with 8 beautiful children, and hearts still hanging on every word from Christ’s Heart.  How good the Lord is!  I am so very grateful.  I am glad He can see into our hearts, and know what is truly in them, for as St. Therese would say, words can never fully express what is felt in the heart.

Of course, there will be much more talk about daisies, but for today, I suppose it is about leaves.  As a little child looks down and sees that one very special leaf, dearer to him than all the others, and picks it up and smiles and carries it close to his little heart as it is his greatest treasure, so too must we remember that we are that leaf, and God is so very, very pleased with us, in all our imperfections – and He smiles as He bends down and picks us up, and carries us close to His Sacred Heart.

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