Wednesday, September 28, 2011

wide open

it hits atlanta suddenly -- the summer heat gone, just like that.  we wake one september morning and the air is cool and the breathing is deep, and all of us, thankful to be moving into something sweeter.  it happens the same way every year.  we count on it.  i am not a southern born girl, but after 13 years in georgia, i know some of its secrets.  and this is one of them... a favorite, for sure. the weeks of late september and october are filled with perfect weather treasures:  crisp mornings. blue skies. orange pansies. purple cabbage. bermuda grass browning. fescue grass greening. harvest moon hanging. hands in the soil.  feet still in flip flops.  face to the sun.  the cool morning cardigan abandoned in the afternoon warmth.  dinner on the deck.  golden leaves falling and crunching and burning and beautiful. 

i wake this morning and fling everything open, letting the cool come in. windows and doors wide to the outside...i'd remove the roof if i could.  (probably shouldn't joke about that with a house like ours).  flies, and an occasional gecko, will wander in too, but they are worth it for this, for this glory.  it is only a season, and then gone. we can't do this as often as i'd like.  july and august arrive and we must shut things down tight and yell desperate words at our neglectful children,  "shut the door!" we close up or we end up roasting in our non-hermetically sealed homes.  we breath air conditioning and it is our stale escape from the hot cloak of a southern summer.

but then there's that first morning, and windows and doors open wide.  the breeze comes cool and the sunshine streams warm and the house smells clean.  i love living like this.  it feels right as rain.  and all the day i am drawn to those open places in my home. by days end, when the homework is finished and the dishes are done and the children sleep, i sit outside...on the the grass...on the steps.  and i think to myself, this is how life is meant to be lived.  doors and windows wide.  arms open.  hands open. heart open. what if we truly did live our lives like this?  what if we threw up the sashes and flung wide the front door? what if we unclenched our fists and uncurled our fingers from the stale things we think we need, from the small things to which we cling, from the tiny stuff which holds us hostage.  what kind of breeze might God blow in...what kind of color might come? what kind of gold?

we are born with clenched hands.  fists, tiny and tight.  we arrive in the world knowing already how to hold on to things.  as a new mother i was mesmerized with putting my finger into the soft palm of my first baby and watching her grasp.  over and over we would play this game; she predictable in her newborn reflex and me amazed in my new mother wonder. and doesn't this reflex continue even into our adult life?  when we have something good we call it mine and we hold on hard.  hunch shoulders.  turn our backs. cradle it close. afraid. but just like this fall breeze blowing in through my morning kitchen, i often hear God's whisper, "let go."   fingers spread, palms up, arms open. embrace Him.  embrace what He brings.  embrace what He gives.  all of it. what might happen if we did?  what could we do?  who might we be?

without doubt, i am a windows and doors wide open kind of gal. and my prayer is to live my life like this - not just for a season, but always.  to live unclenched. unfurled. to watch what the breeze blows in see what the cat drags in ... to embrace what my God brings in...brings me.
wide and open and ready.

"delicious autumn!  my very soul is wedded to it, 
and if i were a bird i would fly about the earth 
seeking the successive autumns."
~ george eliot


JGniadek said...

absolutely beautiful post!

Aus said...

I can feel it - thanks!

hugs - aus and co.