Fire on the Next Hill

last night
a fiery orange light
glowed ferociously
on the next hill.
i thought the Blakers’
barn was burning.
(i left my warm bed and stepped outside for a better view.)

the flames
leaped into the black
and devoured the trees
of the horizon.
i thought the still-green leaves
in the valley between
will keep us safe.
(my husband joined me to witness the spectacle.)

then the triangle
of flames and fire
suddenly settled into
a sideways orange half moon.
61.2% rising ENE
at 11:16 p.m
i thought when has a half-moon-rising
ever been fire in the sky.
(we laughed at one more
2020 wildness.)

my skittish, sheepish
thoughts morphed like moonfire
into a silent prayer.
Lord of the moon, the sky, the earth,
protect us from fires raging
in the darkness
and turn them into
just a spectacular autumn moonrising
in the night sky.
(i slept the weighted, dreamless sleep of peace.)

The autumn that isn’t…

What’s wrong with this picture?

October 23, 2018

Right. October 23. The middle of autumn. WHERE ARE THE FALL COLORS?

I’m told that in some places it’s Autumn As Usual. The reds are red. The golds are gold.

But here in Southwestern Pennsylvania, the trees either have green leaves or none.

This same picture from our back porch taken October 28, 2013:

SIGH. Not only are the skies gray, and the garden is finished, and the temperatures are in the forties, there are no bright autumn colors to cheer us and make this transition from summer to winter easier.

Some experts have predicted that maybe next week the leaves will turn. That the abundant rain in August and the warm temperatures in early October caused the leaves to keep producing chlorophyll, which keeps them green.

I remember as a kid asking about why the leaves were turning colors when we hadn’t had any cold temperatures yet. I was informed (by a science teacher) that it wasn’t the temperature, but the lesser daylight of fall that made the trees stop producing chlorophyll. Kind of makes me wonder what other misinformation I was given…

So I’ve done some research on this (read Googling why leaves turn color). The SUNY College of Environment and Forestry says, “Rainy and/or overcast days tend to increase the intensity of fall colors.” The website Earthsky.org notes, “Autumn seasons with a lot of sunny days and cold nights will have the brightest colors.” No wonder I was confused…

So with the lack of beautiful autumn photos to show you, I’ll post some pictures of what we’ve been doing for the last three months.

The back porch was mostly finished just in time for Labor Day.

The No-Fun Rule was in effect all summer, so we took a deferred vacation in early October to the Napa Valley. If your kids don’t live nearby, they should at least live in a great place to visit.

 

 

Thankful and blessed. Yes that’s what I’m feeling as I look over these photos. Despite no extravagant fall colors.

Instead I brought the fall colors inside to my living room.

There’s always a way to find joy.

Christmas peace

“Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,

God’s Sunrise will break in upon us,

Shining on those in the darkness,

Those sitting in the shadow of death,

Then showing us the way, one foot at a time,

Down the path of peace.”

Luke 1:78-79 (The Message by Eugene Peterson)

Peace to all this Christmas…