♬”As one thing leaves to become another–
I remember when–
Oh, to be with summer again….”♬
(Summer Again—The Afters)
“How does God do that?”
I wondered at my first sighting this year of a leaf turned crimson.
Changing from green to red without paint or markers or crayons….
A sign that summer is in metamorphosis. Fall prepares to stretch out of its cocoon.
The Master Creator designed patterns. Seasons prepare the earth for what is next. And life itself is cyclical—birth to death repeated through the generations ad infinitum (so far). Even the weeks have their own designations—time for work, rest, play and worship on constant repeat. And the student measures each school year around the start and end date of summer vacation.
Up close and personal, our annual routine adds relocation between north and south to the mix. Every August marks the beginning of another year on the South side. With a dozen years of practicum under our belts, it’s still a learning curve. A transition that requires me to do more of the only thing I know to do when I don’t know what to do…..again.
At this moment I glimpse my dad as I glance at my reflection in the mirror. I see more than his long face, sad eyes and crooked teeth, I also spot his legacy in the habits of my life. Prayer was his rhythm–mutterings to God in the wee hours of the morning on my behalf for all the years we shared on this earth. And there it is–that involuntary sigh. The mirror caught it and reveals the loss I still feel with his prayer covering absent. And today I tell myself that what I have received, can now be freely given.
And it is my time to give.
So, I beat the heat, grab dog and leash and head out the door to put feet to my prayers. I start my conversation with God about my own inner circle. This week some of those beloved people are teaching and learning in new settings, with heavy course loads, amongst health obstacles, with learning challenges and lonely.
I’m distracted walking past one family after another, congregating on street corners in my neighborhood, leaning up against STOP signs waiting for the school bus. I wonder about their stories, the hopes and fears they bring to this monumental moment of a fresh start.
It’s not just one thing they want—that their parents want for them.
We are so much more than minds soaking in data.
We are multifaceted people.
Like diamonds sparkling when we catch the light of opportunity.
A rainbow of colors bouncing off the walls.
Starting a new school year isn’t just about academics. It’s about how God will reveal more of His unique design in and through you and me and how we will shine reflecting His glory. Learning is the process of being formed, shaped and molded.
To not grow weary at the starting block anticipating the rigors of the race because every new year is a fresh opportunity for teacher and student to taste of the Lord and see that He is good…. (Psalm 34:8)
He will not let you stumble and fall…. (Psalm 121:3)
He gently leads those who have young and carries them close to His heart…. (Isaiah 40:11)
He has plans for you, a future and a hope….(Jeremiah 29:11)
And so I retain the beauty of my northern summer and embrace the opportunities of my southern fall with this focus:
“There shall be an eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
And I choose to be grateful…..