Thursday, October 18, 2012

Things That Never Change When You Go

It was one of those days where the air feels so right, falling so lightly that you forget it's even there, that it's even necessary. The sky streaked over us, blue; sun filtering down through walnut leaves, warming everything with an extra shot of gold. 

I never notice walnut leaves until they turn. Each October, they surprise like it's the very first time.

Calvin raced his scooter down the hill, Ruby hung upside down from the monkey bars, Silas played in the dirt.

I kept an eye on them and an ear to the middle schoolers causing a ruckus over by the swings, hurling walnuts while they laughed. 

I walked in small circles, my eyes to the ground. When the gold was just right, I'd stoop and grab it up, a little family of the happiest yellow.

She moved in slowly. I let her pretend that she was being nonchalant. 

"What are you doing with those?"

"Picking some to take home."


"Because they're beautiful! Aren't they?"

"I don't know. What are you gonna do with them?"

"Put them in a vase."


"Because they make me happy."

Her eyebrows stitched together. She thought I was crazy, but she couldn't walk away.

She lingered, getting braver by the minute, asking a lot but offering just a little. 

The sun tilted, my kids argued. It was time to go. 

We said goodbye and walked across the street to our home, the one we've been waiting for, the one that I thought might change me forever with its crumbled sidewalks and cussing teenagers.

I used to wonder how I would survive the loss of my acreage, my rad barn, my picket fences, the vegetable garden, flower patches, my own forest of shade trees. My soul learned to breathe on that farm, every season waking me up to something new. 

I wasn't convinced there'd be enough pretty in the city.

I plunked my fistful of leaves into a bottle and hoped that the girl at the park saw something new. Maybe it was crazy, or maybe beauty really was all around. Maybe you could bend low for it and carry it with you home.


PS - This post? I loved every little thing about it. 
"we should use our strength to bloom in any season."


  1. Maybe we can. Thanks for the reminder, sweet Shannan.

  2. thanks, shan. just thank you for the soul stretching. you truly inspire me to grow...

  3. Yes, you are so very right on this. There is beauty everywhere. We just have to be willing to look for it.

  4. we can bend low and carry it home..if we see it.

  5. I needed that. We recently moved from a beautiful little house in the country to a small apartment in the city. . .because that's where God wanted us to go. I must admit, though, I have not made the move without my share of complaining. I needed that reminder. . .to keep looking for beauty in a place I would not have chosen, and to be content realizing that God can use even this season in my life to make something beautiful for His glory!

  6. Oh I needed that. Beauty is not always obvious, we must remember the Source.

  7. ..."pretty in the city ..." I love that!

    It really is about making our heart pretty, isn't it? The location is just where God wants it to happen.

  8. I will pick some from the ground carpet this weekend and think of you : )
    Thank you for making a difference.
    In the city.
    On your blog.
    In the world.
    You are something special.

  9. We never know what kind of impact our simple words will have in the life of a curious soul. Hopefully you opened up her eyes to the beauty that is all around us.

  10. Oh Shannan, I can just see her, learning to see the beauty around her. Keep going. Thanks for sharing.

  11. This one brought tears to my eyes and I'm not even sure why. Thank you.

  12. I think that if I child is never given the opportunity to see something different than what is their normal; they will never know it even exists. I am thinking perhaps you are a window into the world of possibilities on your street. And it starts with yellow leaves on the windowsill.

  13. unlike you when i process i get quiet, but you know i 'get' & 'like' lines like these...

    I wasn't convinced there'd be enough pretty in the city.

  14. so grateful the girl saw you finding beauty in the things God made.
    i bet she'll start to look for it for herself, too.

    every time you mention cussing teenagers, I laugh a little out loud.