Treadful Time?

The air is thinner, no longer able to wrap me in heat and humidity. Storms and shortening days have transformed the green canopy over my head into scatter rugs at my feet. It’s happened every year at the change of seasons, but this year something else is going on. For the first time, it feels like a change of life season.

I first walked these streets fifteen years ago, but the life I was living then has fallen away just as surely as the leaves at my feet. I walk this beloved world in a middle age that will soon transform me into an elder – God willing. I am a falling leaf, transformed by age and experience from green to…what?

Years ago, my son Colin’s third grade teacher asked him to answer this question: As a leaf on a tree in Autumn, would you want to fall first or last? Colin chose first, somersaulting and turning on his way to earth. It’s my turn to answer that question now – not just metaphorically, but tangibly. Will I hang on to the stage of life that has brought me so much, or will I let it go, willingly and gladly jumping into the next colorful and grand adventure?

Today, I choose to jump. Knowing that I will return to the earth, accepting a different perspective and place, I will let time take me where it will. Because I don’t think Time is an angry, muddy boot that grinds me into an unforgiving eternal pavement. I believe it’s a brisk wind, carrying me to my resting place when I cannot get there on my own. And if the foliage I see on this walk is any indication of life’s truth, it’s after the fall that my life is revealed in all its color.

To every thing there is a season…Ecclesiastes.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

2 thoughts on “Treadful Time?”

  1. Beautifully stated and thought-provoking. Part of me says “First”-I mean, who wants to hang out with a bunch of dying leaves?–then I think, “well they’re going to all fall on top of me anyway so maybe I’d rather go last and be the one on top.” And then, of course, I think that it will be what it will be so just enjoy the tree time while it’s here and enjoy the fall when it comes knowing I will eventually give life to sustain life making the ground that much richer.

    1. What a great reflection on that question. Thanks, Bill! You always give me the gift of seeing things in a new way. Peace, Johnna

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