Discarded Beauty

Japanese maple
Japanese maple

Discarded Beauty

The leaves are discarded
like an old petticoat
around the slender trunk.
What was a vivid flame,
flaring in the wind,
now is shivering in the cold,
so bare and trembling.

The beauty is still there
in the twisted branches,
the pile of leaves.
The fragile points curl up,
the leaves begin to blend in
to the rocks and soil beneath.
Far too soon, these colors will fade
and the glory of autumn will be just a memory.

Cold sunshine on my face
sparks a memory
of working in my yard,
swatting mosquitoes and quietly swearing
as the sweat drips off my forehead.
I pull up my hood,
put on my gloves,
prepare for winter,
and wait for the glories of spring.

Even in this fallow season,
God showers attention
on the most intimate worries of my life.
I feel the gentle reminder
to see God’s handiwork everywhere,
even in this season of fallow ground
and fallen leaves.

Alleluia.

The last alleluia.
The last alleluia.

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