Saturday, October 01, 2005

Good News Saturday

Writing from New Jersey (thus the fewer posts), the location of my continuing ed for 2005. Learning a lot.

The weather turned cool upon arrival with temps in the 70s during the day and 40s at night. Perfect Autumn weather. The crisp night breezes and the crickets rhythmically chirping sends waves of nostalgia rushing over me.

I love Texas. My friends don't understand it, but I do. It's not the most beautiful state. It's not the most refined state. But it is big and generous and full of opportunity. The possibilities seem as endless as the long stretches of highway under the black expanse of sky.

But my love for Texas will never dim fond memories of the north--the fall belongs to the "Yankee" states. (Springtime in Paris, Christmas in New York and Autumn in the north and mid-west.) Trees full of apples, jugs of apple cider from those apples and apple-cider donuts that satisfy the lusty hunger that a chill in the air brings--that's Autumn.

Oh, this I miss.

Today, with the sun mellowing the air, we drove the New Jersey countryside. Zipping over the hills and around the bends of old roads lined with huge ancient trees and rolled hay bales. We watched horses in the pasture and sheep chewing--my sister mourned the loss of two woolly black sheep who met their demise recently. She counted this pair as her personal pets and slowed down and greeted them on her drive to and from work each day.

A Texas hayride in October, when the temperature still hits 90 feels stickily stifling compared to wearing flannel shirts and jeans and boots and snuggling under a heavy blanket on a frosty cold Michigan night while rambling over some farmer's field. My kids don't know the difference and have a great time. I have a great time too, but I know the difference. I remember.

So yesterday, today and tomorrow morning, I've been inhaling the scents and scouring the sights, not wanting to miss a thing. Storing more away, reawakening memories and making them richer in the remembering.

Another thing about Autumn in the north: The air carries sound differently. Wafting through the windows, a baseball game clearly transmits from the neighbor's yard, who are planting fat yellow mums. On Friday nights, cheers from a football game echo against hills. Excitement shivers down my spine hearing distant voices rise and fall.

This I miss.

Memory is a funny thing. Sadness and loss can distort pictures in our mind and make us forget things altogether.

Some memories are so perfect, such reflections of God Himself, that when we experience them again, they are precisely, exactly, comfortingly the same. These blessed memories crowd out the bleak and bad, thankfully. Good memories remain clear and sure.

I love Autumn in the North. The beauty and loveliness will linger in my mind and heart--ripe, sweet memories as satisfying as fresh-pressed apple cider and warm home-made donuts.

I will remember and oh, how I will miss it.
More blogs about the woodlands rita.