I'm trying to ease back into the early morning rise routine. It's actually been easier than I expected it would be, given that nights can be unpredictable and filled with many moments of staring at the clock, wondering when my little Gingersnap will allow sleep to be victorious. What I've discovered, though, is that the waking up and getting up part is not the challenge: it's staying awake through the afternoon that's giving me fits.
This Wednesday will usher me into my 38th year, thanks be to God. (Or for a more common way of putting it, I'll be 37, for Pete's sake.) I thought I'd feel older somehow, though I'm not certain what that means anymore. I do remember carrying my little Squash and really feeling like I could never have another baby--he was definitely my last baby!! HA! And look what God really had planned!
I have found that with each passing year I find more joy in this season. The stunning colors peeking from every possible crevace absolutely thrill me in a smiliar way I once felt about fireworks. And how could it not? The carpets of muted golds and browns of the fields fairly glow when the sun hits them on the hills. The velvety red of the sumac is my favorite, but the surprising colors on some of the trees are astounding. Japanese maple leaves that turn purple at the edges and simmer into a golden syrup toward the center...the plum in my very own front yard which darkens and darkens, from a deep violet to nearly black...the brilliant gold of the birch leaves...the red of the ivy vines, climbing everything in sight and providing such an abundant variety of reds (and I know they're invasive and choking, but they are still quite lovely)...and the noble oak--dropping acorns and a veritable carpet of oranges, browns and persimmony orange leaves--which seasons such a scent into the air that it permeates every breath--how could anyone look upon these things and not be overtaken with praise and thanksgiving for the One who deems us worthy to behold them?
The Saturday morning cross country races have meant that we, as a family, rise very early in order to drive our runners to their venues. And where we live, we go through very hilly country, providing incredible views. The early mornings these days always mean sunlight filtered through fog (except for the couple of rainy race days in there for good measure). It's been inspiring to have so many moments of such beauty before us.
One particular morning as we drove toward the southeast, I was drawn into something of a meditation. There were layers and layers of fog settled over fields of corn, soybeans and wheat. The trees still have enough leaves on them to give a full silhouette, and the profiles of houses, barns and silos were prominent in some places, and obscured in others. The first layer was softened, as though peering through the screen of an open window. The next layer was like steam-covered glass. The next was even more obscured, like trying to look through tracing paper. And the next was like parchment.
I thought how our souls see Heaven was so similar...we have an idea of what Heaven is--everyone has their own idea of what the Beatific Vision will truly be like. We see in our mind's eye what we think it will be. And as we learn more and more truth in what Holy Mother Church teaches us, we realize how far removed our ideal is, like the second and third layers. What it will actually be is so far obscured, like trying to peer through the thick layers of fog. We can sense the light through the parchment layer, but nothing can be clearly seen through these frail human eyes.
God is good.
Please keep My Darling's Grandma in prayer. She is old and tired, and some days would dearly love to go Home. God's ways are the best ways; His timing is always perfect.
Please continue to pray for Joshua P. He has had some extraordinary days of energy and healing and feeling really good, but then contracted a cold...which can be devistating, or even deadly. Please continue to pray for miraculous healing, on whatever terms God wills for him, and for peace in the hearts of his family.
Please pray intently for our Holy Father, for our dear Bishop, and for an increase in vocations to the ordained and consecrated life.
And I humbly beg for your prayers for my own needs and intentions.