The last day of summer had me and my short crew running for the woods. We high-tailed it to a familiar cluster of trees next to the pond that welcomed our presence often and always with open arms.
From the quiet shade those tall pines offered up, a person could lean in to the rowdy repartee of crickets, pond-songs, and even their own thoughts again if they had a mind to stop and take a listen.
The kids thought we were playing. And maybe we were. But in my mind we were stealing time and hiding from the world.
And all of this felt just right.
We made nests in the trees with loud-colored hammocks and I tucked away down deep in mine just for the time it took to store up a perfect memory to sip from later. The swell of happy chatter washed over me in waves and I was just almost lulled to sleep until the Boy’s teasing made the girls protest in glass-cracking shrieks.
My head poked out of my little cocoon and I asked for the twelfth time in an hour, ‘Isn’t this weather something?’
It was the rarest of mix of sun, shade and just enough of a breeze to give our hair a life of its own.
‘It feels just like a regular warm day but God has a mint in his mouth and is blowing His breath out on us.’
‘Mints aren’t cold, Mom.’
‘You know what I mean, you goonies.’
‘We know what you mean.’ Our hearts matched the weather’s perfect mix-up. Nostalgic and savoring this moment and also anticipating and hopeful about a new beginning. We had one foot in summer and the other in fall and it felt like we had been granted private entry into a secret door between seasons.
Retreating down into the cocoon of my hammock, I listened to leaves clapping for the wind and my mind floated up and away like the paper sack for lunch left on the ground from our picnic.
Upon waking tomorrow morning, we weren’t going to find ourselves in the dead middle of a hushed and quiet, bare-souled winter.
No. We were to be eased into it…if we’re looking for the cues.
The earlier and earlier sinking sun and a very few bits of hard scattered leaves beginning to drop signaled the end of one season while showing us the way into the next one.
I already knew my own next season coming just the same way I knew I would be in this one before I found myself in it. The urging I felt to take a break from all the things last year that led to a surprise move is the same voice that then guided a long, weary spell of dirt-in-the-fingernails soul-work.
And now…something new.
There are gentle whispers from the Lord that mark the ending of one thing and usher in the soft beginnings of a new one.
God comes kindly to prepare.
At the turn of this season, I can tell the wildflowers in my backyard are contemplating a long nap, and my heart is beginning to bear the green buds of the good fruit of a soul at rest.
I can tell what’s coming.
It’s a new season.
And I marveled again at the hint of a cooler wind laid right on top of a regular summer’s day.