I woke to a pleasant surprise this morning. All of the weather forecasts I had seen the night before had little pictures of rain pouring down from storm clouds. I hadn't expected much.
When I opened my eyes and saw that my surroundings were still gray and dull, I resigned myself to clouds. Yuck. However, when I walked into my dining room for a better view, I could see that bright sunlight was inching its way past the tree and roof tops, so as to brighten my little garden.
I looked up to the sky. Not a cloud to be seen.
And it just so happened that, although there is always work to do, I did not have any patients to see until late afternoon. This has not happened recently and I had even been feeling a bit disappointed that my schedule was so light.
However, when I saw this "uncloudy" morning unfolding before me, all thoughts of disappointment evaporated. Before the weather changed its mind, my camera and I were going to take a walk.
Although the fall foliage has not yet peaked here in northeast Ohio, I knew that one street on my walking route typically has breath-taking beauty before all of the others. If I waited too long, as I had some years, I would miss some of the richest hues of the season.
After a bit of breakfast, I bundled up - it was a brisk morning - and we locked up the house to begin our sojourn. However, as my camera and I ventured out, I reminded myself that we were not going to take pictures or capture beauty but receive whatever images we were given.
I wanted this to be a contemplative walk, an opening of my heart to God - not a venture to collect photos so as to impress (as though I had created the beauty).
There is something about the morning light that is absolutely luscious. It has a vibrancy that is somehow sharp and soft at the same time. It defines every detail, in both light and shadow, but has a joyous aliveness that prevents any impression of being cold or hard.
As we made our way down the sidewalk, I almost immediately encountered a simple little leaf that had fallen onto my path at some earlier time. I saw its beauty in the illumination of the sun's fresh rays. I accepted its image with gratitude.
As I continued on through the neighborhood, I was blessed with many images, some quite colorful. Late-blooming roses held their own against the chill. The anticipated foliage was indeed stunning against bright blue sky.
But it was for the unexpected gifts that I felt a deep surge of gratitude: the images of the very ordinary fallen leaves as they encountered the Light.
Each fallen leaf, no matter how withered and worn, seemed to have a singular beauty of its own - a beauty that could only be revealed when exposed by the fresh morning light. I wanted to accept - no, embrace - each and every one, to experience its ordinary but unique story made manifest before me.
I can relate to these leaves...
Each one is fallen...
Most are broken.
Each finds its beauty
Not in itself...
but in and through the Light...
given to it from Above.
Let us welcome the Light, humbly. Let us surrender ourselves to Its holiness and be enlightened by It.
All glory be to Him Who is our Light. Amen.