Wednesday, October 26, 2011

frozen for a moment

Autumn here in Moscow is so different than it is back home; there are no chilies, no short-sleeved runs to Nana's, no balloons streaking rainbows in the sky, no bright sunny mornings on the patio. How to capture a season when words don't feel adequate? the magnificence of watching a town blooming and green, turn overnight into streets littered with papery carnage.

The sun has ducked under the equator, stealthily out of range for six months. And even Thor is out of a job here in the northland when droplets fall suddenly from the gray sky. Farmer's Market stays locked behind greenhouse doors; life has been sucked from the square fountain and lights are draped in the branches downtown: twinkles to befriend the gloomiest of hearts. Swirling wind twists among the frozen grasses, around sharp corners, and down branches as the Gandalf-like puffs braid a silent magic into the hearts of the herbs and weeds. Veins once running with resin, flush gold in the still green body of a leaf. The edges curl like a treasure map singed with the flames of fire. Trees loose their covering, spreading yellow and brown, orange and red with the neighbors, leaves slicken the sidewalks and clutter around doorsteps. Petunias fight the chill, dripping golden in the puddles. Curls are pulled back over my shoulder and into my eyes. Breath freezes on my lips. A car passes, a smile, a wave. The light blinks on and I cross the street. Sweaters absorb the cold and seep to the middle of my bones. Shivers creep up my arm and though my neck. My coffee is no longer iced. Scarves aren't too hot anymore and help to hide fading freckles. Flipflops stay inside.

Moments like these will all too soon be gone forever, forgotten under drifts of snow, melting with drops of rain. This time in a year, I will be home amongst the evergreens and clear blue skies--back to the crisp warm rays of summer's end. And I'll try to remember experiencing a real "autumn" but simply painting a slosh of water or a dash of cider-green to what I've grown up with just won't get it right.
It's just color. It's just more than that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rediscovering joy;
I scuffle through wrinkles of fallen color,
Decay flutters about my feet.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love Divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling; All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion, Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation, Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy Loving Spirit, Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in tHee inherit, Let us find Thy promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning; Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning, Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver, Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never, Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise Thee without ceasing, Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation; Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love, and praise!