As I drive my girls to school each morning, we pass rows and rows of trees whose leaves have begun to change color. When traffic is going fast or when a gust of wind blows through, the leaves begin to fly off of their trees and land gently somewhere on the ground. Gold, red, and wine colors all cover the sidewalks near their school. This is one of the many reasons I like Autumn- the leaves indicate that something has changed and is changing, a visual sign of what happens in our own lives.
During this particular Autumn season, I find myself planning my oldest daughter’s Rite of Passage ceremony. It really feels like just yesterday, we brought her home from the small country hospital she was born in. Now I can look at her almost eye to eye, we can almost share shoes (she likes my boots), and we are exchanging hair maintenance tips. Where did the time go? How is she ready to enter into her teen years? Where did my little girl go, and where is she going to next?
When I look at her, I see those colorful little leaves; I see a season that is changing whether I am ready for it or not. I see her growing and learning and beginning to detach just a little from the safety of her parents much like the golden leaves as wind blows by. And just like those leaves, she is gonna fly and land somewhere that right now, is unknown. Her childhood is coming to a close but her teenage years are just beginning. My husband and I could think of no better birthday celebration than a rite of passage for her as she enters her new season.
I know exactly where she took her first steps, I remember her first words, and even her favorite book. I know the biblical foundations we’ve tried to help her set her life upon. But because we as her parents don’t know exactly where she will land as she flies, we want to equip her with lots of wisdom. We need help. Not help as in directions, but help as in assistance as she learns to fly a little more independently. We are blessed to have a community of family and friends (both near and far) who will be sharing their wisdom and life lessons with her on her special day and throughout her beautiful life. Altogether, we have many more years of wisdom combined than what my husband and I could provide by ourselves.
We need the help of others. We are created for community. Real, authentic, genuine, honest, community.
I can’t wait to hear them as they tell her of their life lessons, or share their personal experiences. Their story will somehow impact her story. Her story will in turn impact others. I don’t know how, or when, but I know that I know it will.
Seasons are changing all around us friend. Some we can see the physical representation of, and others we just sense in our souls. We can’t stop time or even see where things will end up after all is said and done, but we can embrace the change with grateful hearts, and open hands.
Friend, as you sit and read this (hopefully with a cup of strong, warm coffee), what seasons can you see changing around you? What seasons can you feel changing that you wish wouldn’t?
Let’s sip our warm coffee and let those thoughts stay at the forefront of our minds for a moment…
May you see the seasons not as endings, but as beginnings. May you notice the seen and the unseen in the change. May your heart swell with gratitude and your hands unfurl in acceptance of your new seasons. And my your cup never run dry.