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.