On the Last Day of Summer

IMG_0145Farewell to shadows of bluebells on white chicken coop walls…IMG_9119Farewell to pleasant afternoons hanging laundry on the line in the company of friendly toads…IMG_0150Farewell to grasshoppers, and white trumpet vines, and all other such elegant pairings…IMG_9486IMG_0042-1.jpgIMG_9596Farewell to barefoot days at the edge of the lake……IMG_0433-1.jpgFarewell to the haunting serenade of loons…IMG_9160 IMG_1023-1Farewell to daisy bouquets made by small hands, and smoky sunsets, gifts from forests burning far away…IMG_0883Farewell to cumulonimbus, those splendid, tall ships sailing by in the sea of the sky…IMG_0467Farewell to restless, flitting warblers in green, green meadows…IMG_0445IMG_0439IMG_0443Farewell to lush gardens decked in the thousand diamonds of sudden morning showers…IMG_0319Farewell to the brief, warm nights, sparkling with celestial beauty and fireflies, humming with mosquitoes…IMG_9864Farewell to all the sun-ripened berries hiding under the leaves…IMG_9806Farewell to picturesque encounters on whimsical summer evening drives…IMG_9688Farewell to all the babies, now raised and grown…IMG_9426Farewell to dancing swallowtails in ballrooms of flowers…IMG_9611Farewell, sweet summer; welcome, glorious autumn!

Ruffed Grouse

grouse with daisies / rejoicing hillsLook what I shot the other day from the car window!

(No, no—not literally!  You know, with the camera.)

We have an abundant population of ruffed grouse in our area, and we hear the males drumming frequently, but they’re rather skittish birds and challenging to photograph.  So I was pleased when this one sat still and eyed me warily long enough so I could step on my brakes, roll down the window and take its portrait.  (Hooray for country dirt roads where you can do that!)  I didn’t have a telephoto lens on, so this isn’t exactly a close-up—but I can’t complain about the scenery he chose to pose in front of!  Haven’t the daisies been gorgeous this year?!

I drove past the same spot the following week and everything was mowed back, chopped off low and rough for safety purposes.  Even if my little grouse friend had reappeared, the photo could never have been the same again.  Thinking about that, I was reminded of not just the fleetingness of photo opportunities, but of the golden opportunities that come our way in life, and these words of wisdom:

“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”  (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Make the most of the opportunities you are given, whether great or small—you never know whether they may gone forever tomorrow!

Light After the Storm

storm clouds at sunset / rejoicing hillsThis was the light that broke forth after the storm, making the fields sparkle golden-green and the daisies by the roadside glow shining white.  The contrast was spectacular between the lowering navy underbellies of the receding storm clouds, and the land beneath suddenly bathed in the piercing evening light.

We, on our walk through the fields, stopped and caught our breath in wonder.  The ordinary grasses and trees were highlighted in stunning relief, and for a few minutes, the landscape was almost surreal in its beauty.  The splendid effect of the most brilliant light is always the most striking when contrasted with the darkness it chases away.

daisy after storm / rejoicing hillsroadside daisies / rejoicing hillsSo was the coming of the Messiah into the darkness of our world:

“The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great Light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a Light has dawned.”  (Isaiah 9:2)swans on lake at sunset / rejoicing hillsAnd He, the Light of the world, continues to shine, the glory of His brilliance all the more breathtaking when contrasted with the darkness it chases away.  He beckons all to step into the piercing rays of His light, and let Him wash away their drabness, robing them in the stunning beauty of His holiness.

“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”  (John 12:46)

Come to the Light of Christ—it’s shining for you and no one is ever turned away.  And if you are already walking in it, take a moment to rejoice in the wonder that you no longer “walk in darkness, but have the Light of life” (John 8:12)!  How glorious to be His child!