It was like walking in a black and white photograph today on my mother-in-law’s crop farm. The dark river soil announced its somber treasury, like a king on a costly battlefield, under a gray sky, below stark branch outline. Dark birds flew away looking for color in another faraway place. We walked around hunched, cold, picking up brown pecans with black flecked shells. The black and white farm cat (Cahokia) and the black and tan dogs walked around on the dead gray grass, looking up at us for attention. I half expected to see MacBeth go galloping by on a black horse directed towards an evil deed (I only say this for my friend’s Shakespearean benefit:).
I was surrounded by my family, though (hunched though we were – hunched not unhappily I might add), and they kept me adrift from sinking into any type of gloom. One kept teasing me about my burnt pie (may I proclaim that it has been a bad pie year for me!). My mother-in-law giggled something fierce about everything which kept me silly and lighthearted. The men were throwing balls around, hitting people whenever possible. My husband kept grabbing me for a kiss. The children were herding Cahokia’s kitten as if life held nothing more than small paws and purrs.
Yes, Spring emblazons all, but late fall around Thanksgiving forces you to take stock of what you have and don’t have around you. I felt full for what I do have: family members who regularly appear out of the haze to help alleviate the loneliness (and the beauty) of the starkness.
Thank you, thank you, gracious, gracious Giver.