The skies this past week have been filled with frilly, puffy, wispy, dense, and scattered clouds. It seems the rain and the sun have been playing leap frog through the days of the week, one day full of bright skies, the next more dreary and gray. The changes to the colors and the clouds observed during my runs, bike rides, walks, and time spent outside made me feel as if I was riding the notes of a song through the high choruses and low refrains. As I contemplated this feeling, I was reminded of several songs that seem to fit the season and my feelings perfectly.
The first song that came to mind was Suzy Bogguss’ Letting Go, a personal favorite from years ago that speaks of the struggles one faces through life’s changes. As I watched the leaves falling from the walnut tree in the back yard, the words echoed in my mind:
…She should be past the tears, she cries some anyway,
Oh, letting go, there’s nothing in her way now,
Oh, letting go, there’s room enough to fly,
And even though she’s spent her whole life waiting,
It’s never easy letting go…
The song fit the week quite well, for the seasons changes and some life events have made me realize that I have to let go of summer’s wake, move on past some personal struggles, and be thankful for the experiences that are not meant to last forever. Like the old walnut tree, I have to shed some leaves (most likely in the form of tears) and allow autumn to lead me onward through time.
Life’s About Changing
My reflections and revelation led me to another all-time favorite song, one that I turn to for understanding and guidance every time I need reassurance. The song is Patty Loveless’ How Can I Help You Say Goodbye, and the words that resonate most with me are:
…Mama whispered softly, time will ease your pain,
Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same,
Come let me hold you and I will try,
How can I help you say goodbye…
As I watched the colors in the skies change through the week, I felt as if God was offering these words to me, asking me to lean on Him, to trust in His ways, and to allow Him to help me through life’s struggles. Several of my reflection readings echoed God’s wishes, asking me to recognize and accept the fact I am human and need help through the changes I am facing. I also found encouragement in the following quote:
“People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
To Have You Back Again
This quote reminded me of my late uncle, whom my sister and I adored. Actually, I thought he was Jesus, for he always found a way to brighten our skies. Though he could not walk on water, he could ride a bicycle standing on the seat , always find time for my sister and me no matter what tasks he had to do, and never passed up the opportunity to have a little fun in life.
My uncle passed away in the fall of 1995, very suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving my family and me with a void the size of The Grand Canyon. For many years I wished I could have more time with him, especially in the fall season, for that was when we raked leaves together and took walks in the woods on Sunday afternoons.
Often when summer changes to fall, I feel a tug at my heart, partly for the loss felt in my uncle’s passing and partly as if he is pulling me forward, asking me to find hope in the skies and nature. This time of year always brings Patty Loveless’ To Have You Back Again to mind:
Love, love’s a chameleon
Makes one in a million
Feel like too much of the same
But leave, leave it behind you
And love will remind you
It was only you that changed
Oh, I’d give all my dreams
Give up my home and everything
I’ve ever known to have you back again
To have you back again, to have you back again
I’d stand in the rain, no place to hide
Drown in my shame, swallow my pride
To have you back again, to have you back again…
Songs in the Skies
On Tuesday morning this past week, I looked out at the predawn sky. To my surprise, the sky was already growing bright, filled with crimson light with indigo and blue veils. Given the day before had been gray and rainy, as well as filled with life issues, the sight lifted my spirits and gave me hope for the day ahead. As I watched the sky grow brighter and full of color, a number of hymns came to mind, including: Amazing Grace, How Great Thou Art, Rain Down, City of God, Prayer of St. Francis, and I’ll Fly Away. Later that evening, the crickets called from over the hill as the stars came out. The sounds and the sights of the day filled me with much needed energy, life, and hope.
Inside, I sensed God was at work, trying to open my eyes, heart, and mind to His blessings. I felt thankful for recognizing this, for having the experience, and for my faith. Though I still dreaded some of the season’s changes and several upcoming events in life, I realized that time, faith, hope, love, and nature would pull me, as well as many others struggling with change, through to a better place in due time. Perhaps the following quote summarizes this best:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin
May the changes we both welcome and dread lead us to better perspective and allow the light within to shine through the darkness. May the songs that move us most give us comfort and strength through the miles of the journey, and may October’s music offer us peace in words both spoken and unspoken.
Echoing in the distance, rising soft and slow,
October’s music hits its rhythm as it flows
Through the valleys and the hills,
Past the creeks and fields tilled,
Dipping and swaying with the breeze
As the sun slips through the trees
Changing color with the tempo
Engaging the heart of the soul as it goes
Onward to time’s beat
Moving the soul toward its destiny.
Crickets in the night fill the air
With sonnets and snippets of praise unaware
Of the audience listening to October’s music
As the glistening dew rises from where it sits
To greet the heavens wide
In the symphony of nature’s tides,
Ebbing and flowing to the notes
Stepping and dosey-doeing as the waves collide
In the seas upon the shore,
Catching the beat once more.
Leaves and raindrops falling from the sky
Create a rhythmic humming throughout the night,
Allowing the soul to drift off to dream
Of hopes and wishes and faith unseen,
Awakened by the dawn’s sonnet of light,
Spread across the heavens wide
To inspire the soul lost in October’s music,
Thankful to God to feel alive through it,
Through the notes and the melodies,
Through the rhythms that beat,
Through all the music in nature and in life
Leading it to peace in time.
-Lisa A. Wisniewski