Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beauty in the Falling Away

I look around, bundled in a new day, and then the next. With each one that passes, a little more color drains from my world. The saturation bleeds, circling the drain. The pink and gold crackles and browns and I drum my knuckles mindlessly on the pane. Can I do this Winter thing again? Can I embrace the utter absence of color that stretches out until I just really can't take it anymore, and then stretches a little more, just for spite?

At first glance, I somehow miss the vibrant sky only pretending to play second fiddle to the blooms.

I don't notice the beauty. I see sadness and loss. I see looming months of white.

But then, I lean in for a closer look at beauty marred by decay and I see myself. I see you. I see us. I see humanity unfurled, a rose so lovely not in spite of the spots, but because of them.

Lessons learned leave visible reminders. Poor choices are permanently marked by redemption. Uncertainty is overshadowed by what is known and true.

I see a choice, every single day - "whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy." (James 1:2)

The words beat like timpani in my soul and so I go out and clip that which has fallen away. I drop them into a beat-up bucket that probably never turned a single head and from the corner of my eye, I see beauty. I see joy shining bright over a bucket of blues. I see opportunity sprouting new life.

The air around me cools, but I shed no tears for my zinnia friends fading gracefully into their destiny. Some linger, stretching their necks toward the sun.

I think they know something I still struggle to learn.

They're not wasting time begging for one more day, one more blessing. I think they're spending every last moment in adoration, faces blazing glory. They may feel a shift in the air, a nudge toward darkness, but they clasp opportunity tightly, holding on just long enough to warm their hands. Then they unleash wide-awake, petal-pink JOY.

And if they can do it?

So can I.


33 comments:

  1. I found you at Emily's, and I love this post! I have been pondering this very thing lately...how all around everything is dying, yet there is beauty to behold even in the decay.

    "I think they know something I still struggle to learn." Yes! I agree. May God open our eyes and ears to see and hear... Ephesians 1:18-23.

    Joy in the journey! :)

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  2. I love this! You are so wise.

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  3. Beautiful reminders in this lovely post,Shannan. October must be a special time for these kind of musings, they are touching my soul (and blog!) too. X

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  4. Well said, well said.

    I love this upcoming time of year... the best.
    But I've never thought about it like this so much as to put it all into such beautiful words - like you've done.

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  5. This is amazing. Thank you for a fresh perspective -- there is indeed renewal amidst decay.

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  6. "Poor choices are permanently marked by redemption. Uncertainty is overshadowed by what is known and true."

    i love this
    is this a shannan original?
    i'm so printing this...on something..

    you are so cool girlie
    i love your words of wisdom
    & your perspective always serves as an inspiration for me

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  7. What a beautiful perspective!

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  8. Beautiful! I needed to hear this today..well yesterday too but today will work. Thanks..

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  9. maybe you should write a devotional...hmmm just thinkin' out loud. your words are so beautiful. have a great day friend.

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  10. What an insightful post. As a farmer, I see the outside going into a hibernation to rejuvenate itself for spring. It has to rest and replenish itself with nutrients and water. Yes the color does go away, but not all of it, and when you find a green or red or yellow, it truly pops at you.

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  11. Oooo if you start writing devotionals like Farmgirl Paints suggests - I want a copy!

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  12. "They're not wasting time begging for one more day, one more blessing. I think they're spending every last moment in adoration, faces blazing glory. They may feel a shift in the air, a nudge toward darkness, but they clasp opportunity tightly, holding on just long enough to warm their hands. Then they unleash wide-awake, petal-pink JOY."

    Thank you for this. More than I can say.

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  13. I can. And I will.

    Love you Shannan! :)

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  14. As someone who clings tightly to every last fleeting summer breeze and braces for the long, white winter, I see myself here. Or, I see the woman I hope to grow up to be. The section Leslie quoted above is also my favorite--not wasting time begging but spending every last moment in adoration, faces blazing glory. Oh, to be like this!

    (The winter thing--I remember reading aloud The Long Winter in the Little House series to my children and feeling physically cold while reading it. At one point, after reading about blizzard upon blizzard upon blizzard, I looked at my daughter and said, "Isn't this winter EVER going to end?" Clearly, I have work to do in this area...)

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  15. R. must see this beauty as well, like in the dead wedding flowers that are still gracing the patio.

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  16. lovely! every word of this post, absolutely lovely and they feel like they are speaking directly to me. oh, and that verse is going up on my chalkboard right this very minute.

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  17. Last winter I had a case of S.A.D bad! So I'm a little nervous this year, I will hold on to this, thank you.

    "They're not wasting time begging for one more day, one more blessing. I think they're spending every last moment in adoration, faces blazing glory. "

    beautiful, shannan.

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  18. Yes, the flowers... Always leaning toward the sun... Such an example for us...

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  19. oh yes. such deep wisdom here. i'm going to read this again, slowly, drink it in. thank you.

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  20. "Lessons learned leave visible reminders. Poor choices are permanently marked by redemption." These lines are a beautiful reminder to me.

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  21. i shiver against real winter (or what we pretend to have here in texas) and the lack of color. already my friend the pink crepe myrtle has lost her fiery plumage and i'm trying to hold on to the greens all round still. to see beneath, beyond, to see the beauty that still waits, yes, this prayer is for me too. i do think texas skies get bigger an prettier the colder it gets, and if i remember to look up a lot is righted.

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  22. I think they're spending every last moment in adoration, faces blazing glory.

    my heart surged with this... and tears. to adore, unabashed, selfless... to be all him in spirit, nothing of me. to live to worship. let's pray for each other in this, sister. beautiful, beautiful post.

    i'm so glad you linked, love. xo
    ps. i'm reading The Help. it's so good!

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  23. Once again, your words are poetic ane beautiful! Thank you!
    Jen
    PS Check out my blog, I'd love to treat you to your favorite Starbucks treat!!!!

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  24. Just beautiful--evoking the perfect message.
    Amy

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  25. Ah, stunning photos. Just perfect God's creation as it even fades to yet another season.
    Hope your home selling efforts are going well too.

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  26. Oh Shannan, you always make me think. And ponder. And re-evaluate. And maybe grow up a little. Just a little.

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  27. What a beautiful post. Thanks for stopping by my corner too!

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  28. Wonderful. Inspiring. Beautiful. Thank you.
    hugs,
    Leslie

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