autumn: a child’s eye view of the season

autumn - a child's eye view of the season (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

As we enter a new season, I’ve been wondering: what if we tried to see the onset of autumn through the eyes of a child? Or the beginning of any new season of life, perhaps. How might we react or sense it differently?

I’m usually inclined to look at the onset of autumn through rather wary, SAD-afflicted adult eyes, even as I try to enjoy any glints of ochre, russet, burnt umber and gold I can find. What if God intends us to go through our days with childlike trust, hope, wonder, and expectation in our hearts, no matter what our actual circumstances are? 

“Childlike surrender and trust, I believe, is the defining spirit of authentic discipleship.” — Brennan Manning

To a child

Autumn may speak
of death and decay
to us, but to a child
it’s an invitation

to throw themselves down
and roll around on any
leaf-carpeted ground.

Autumn might signal
summer’s ending
but to a child it’s a time
of returning to school,

new shoes, equipment and clothes,
friendships rekindled, joyful
reunions, and fresh beginnings.

Autumn has many
moments of mists,
and moods we prefer
not to have to battle through,

but to a child
the veil becomes
a different kind of curtain,
mysterious, uncertain.

Autumn might suggest
a season of falls,
of decline and loss
of capacity, but to a child

it speaks of tumbling
deliberately onto chilly grass
and crunchy leaves.

Autumn hints at mellow
fruitfulness now being passed
its best, as darkness
increases and living things

are dying, but to a child
it’s just another day closer
to anticipated Christmas bliss.

Autumn brings increasing
cold, wind and sleety rain,
as trees become denuded

and winter creeps in,
but to a child each change
in the weather is just

another new way
of experiencing, touching,
tasting, seeing, and doing.
© joylenton

autumn - to a child poem excerpt (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

“I think that’s the true litmus test for someone who has become closer to Jesus: their heart is more loving, accepting, childlike, less believing that they have all the answers and more believing in Him.” — Donald Miller

It can be a hard calling and a tough surrender to trust God for better or be able to sense beauty and joy more than we sense the darkness, hardship and pain. It can be difficult to pay more attention to the good, can’t it? Especially when pain shouts so loud it seems to drown out all else.

But joy still exists in every dark moment we go through, and it’s so worthwhile to try to be more childlike by awakening to the joy hidden in plain sight. I’m inspired by my grandson’s attitude and I’m willing to try. How about you, my friend? 

PS: You might be interested in: 50 Autumn activities for parents and kids, plus an inspiring creative guide to surviving the winter months by Emma Mitchell or her nature remedy book to help with SAD symptoms. 🙂 ❤

autumn - child sitting in leaves - it is so worthwhile quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

joy in looking closer to ground

write31days-journeying-into-joy-close-to-ground

 

Sometimes we just have to look closer to ground or make an opening to discover hidden beauty. A swathe of green or concealing dark shadow can temporarily stand in the way of a revealing, as can distraction and lack of attention to detail.

On city streets people’s eyes betray an inner leaning. Some have their sight continually downcast, glued to a device in their hand, whereas others fix their gaze on the horizon, or scan sky’s vast panorama as they move around.

But those who still their souls, whose inner vision is honed and who look beyond the obvious, will be rewarded with a fresh perspective and feast for the eye. They will sense things close at hand offering an eternal perspective.

In seeking to discover joy and beauty in the everyday, my natural tendency is to stop, stoop and see whatever is low to ground, wanting to grasp and hold close those things near at hand.

I have caught many aspects of loveliness in the lowly things as I look for them. Even weeds can be appealing, because they are really only flowers growing in the wrong place, aren’t they?  God hides His treasures, those daily grace gifts we’re apt to ignore and take for granted, in plain sight for us to discover and enjoy.

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel” ~ Isaiah 45:3 NKJV

Lily of the valley rises as a delicate offering when days are just beginning to warm and hearts are more than ready for a sign of summer to come. Their white bells ring out a sweetness we respond to with eagerness, sounding a death knell to winter-dark and a welcome invitation of spring.

“To see a World in a grain of sand,

And Heaven in a wild flower;

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,

And Eternity in an hour…”

~ William Blake ‘Auguries of Innocence’

The immortal lines above reveal how much can remain hidden to us when walking along and looking around. We can easily miss the messages God is sending us. There are touches of heaven everywhere, seeking to infuse us with eternal joy in the here and now.

My own imperfect poetry is an attempt to suggest similar things…

Seeing is believing

write31days-journeying-into-joy-closer-to-ground

 

My eyes tend to be drawn down to ground

where I focus on a flower or two

as camera lens captures the profound

 

What if I viewed each flower as a vision

not just of loveliness and perfect petals

but of heaven’s breath? Would my seeing

 

look beyond the human eye, encompass

a greater depth and breadth, stretch toward

eternal skies and find God’s presence sits

close by? Maybe each leaf and flower

 

are inviting us to sense much more

than eyes devour, lovely as it is,

and teaching us to train our souls

 

to be on the lookout for heaven’s

kiss. If so, then I don’t ever want to

miss their offering, but pause instead

 

to marvel how eternity is written

deep within our hearts and concealed

soft within every living thing

©JoyLenton2016

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Welcome to #day28 of #write31days of journeying into joy. Bless you for being here! It’s been quite a marathon, hasn’t it?

As this series draws to a close, so our focus slows a bit, leading to small ways of discovering joy hidden in plain sight.

 

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