I look out the window and realize: it’s here. What I have been waiting months for has finally arrived.
I rush to the window and throw it open. The tyranny of summer is ended and I can once again breath, really truly breath. It’s cool crispness soothes my soul and I savor it. Visions of sweaters, pumpkin chai tea and walks on crunchy leaves fill my consciousness.
Then out of the corner of my eye I see Eleanor has outdone me. She’s taken the full plunge into the autumn air and is standing on a deck with no rails and a drop-off that warrants caution. I rush to her, bring her inside and securely lock the door.
My daughter is safe but my moment is gone.
I won’t be able to reminisce about high school volleyball seasons, envision meals with soup as the main course or even try to remember where my cool-weather wardrobe is stored. Instead, I have a disappointed child glaring at me.
The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one’s ‘own,’ or ‘real’ life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one’s real life — the life God is sending one day by day.
Ugh- Clive Staples Lewis! Why do you have to be so wise?
While it is vitally important to stop and simply take in what is around us, work hard towards our goals and invest in our passions, we can’t come to the point where we believe we only fully live life at these times. Our lives are just as real when we wash dishes, wait for a doctor’s appointment or make lunch as a child hangs from our leg as when we pursue our interests. These ‘interruptions’ are the nitty-gritty reality of everyday life. They might not be what give our lives flavor but they are our daily bread.
When we put our own passions aside and make ourselves fully available to those we love (and especially those we don’t) we open ourselves to God’s grace and the life he is sending one day at a time. We are open to spontaneous blessings and opportunities to practice and live out the good works he is doing in us. The majority of the lessons we learn are not taught on the mountaintop, they are slid into the margins of our lives. It is in the inopportune moments that we can practice love, patience and kindness. When we embrace the interruptions in our real life we allow God to move powerfully in us and make us more into his image.
With this in mind I collected my children and we played outside in the perfect autumn sunshine.