Yesterday morning as I pulled up to Maggie’s school in Ipswich, several teachers stood outside welcoming students, clapping and shouting, “It’s science day!” Maggie jumped out of the car with her contribution, a box of aluminum foil to be used for some experiment. Can’t remember having a lesson in science when I was in the second grade. So many notions about girls and science and math are no more. Gone for good, I hope.
Maggie returned from school full of stories about science day. The next morning as we drove to Beverly, she and Kate began making things in the backseat from the leftover aluminum foil. Kate molded a hat for her head, while Maggie formed a bowl and a heart. Both were quiet as their imaginations took shape. Pretty soon Kate started singing, “I love my gingerbread man that I just made. I love him so much. I made you. I love you.” It didn’t take long for me to imagine God, the Creator, singing to each of us, “I love you. I made you. I love you so much.”
On the counter where I write, a basket filled with red and green apples infuses the air with the scent of fall. Maybe it’s because I live in New England, where fall struts her stuff, that I look forward to this season that some dread. Some see it as a time when everything’s dying, when summer’s over. Gone. For me fall’s still so closely tied to the beginning of a new school year. It’s another chance to do better, learn more and discover again the redemptive gift of blank pages, pencils with points and erasers that work. It’s a spectacular season in these parts. I love stopping by farm stands laden with pumpkins, mums, cornstalks, butternut and zucchini squash,(never dies, only multiplies), fresh pressed cider and hot cider donuts.
Seasons give reasons to start fresh, take another look at the world, ourselves. They offer choice moments to clean house, decorate, appreciate, sort and pitch that which sometimes should be gone for good: the good of others, the good of the environment, and for our own good. Simplify. It’s on my bucket list.
Moments come when I feel overwhelmed with sadness that Jud’s gone, out of sight. Yet when Kate makes up songs, she reminds me to lift up my head and sing to the One who sings to me and you. Psalm 98:1 says to “Sing to the Lord, a new song, for he has done marvelous things…”
Recalling just a few of “the marvelous things God has done” tips the scale towards gratitude. Nudges me to risk and reach for the gift of new beginnings and the blessings hidden in blank sheets of paper, pencils with points and erasers that work.
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