abe lincoln said that by age 40 we all get the face we deserve.
and yes, youth certainly covers a multitude of sins. a bit like the chlorophyll that colors the new green of spring and the lush of summer.
the young, so lovely, with a beauty all their own.
but that fades, and our hearts for good or for ill, begin to show up on our faces.
when the daylight grows shorter and the shadows longer, the trees send word to the leaves and literally sticks a cork in each one.
then we watch year after year as an astonishing thing happens.
we get to see what color everything really was all along.
the full autumn light of this life is harsh and thin, lighting like the revealed colors of every leaf, of every heart.
a bit too much for the eyes.
high fall burns a little like a dream. real red and real yellow. the real of what was always underneath rises to the surface of each life. the mess of the flying wind carrying it violent and the backdrop remains so much color. i try to stare out at it all and i wonder if maybe i am dreaming?
every year around this time, god refuses to clean things up.
so it would seem that we not only get the face we deserve, but we get the soul, too.
and still the relentless mercy of time meets us each morning. holding out a hand to live a different sort of day. an offer to etch different kinds of lines into our faces, into our hearts.
every season an invitation to know the mind and heart of god.
every leaf bows low at our feet hoping to be lovely enough to peel our eyes away from our own small plans and raise them high to the one who will one day lift each heavy foot from this place and set us sailing on the wind, too.
true colors revealed at last.