Hawaii is a beautiful land. Paradise, they say. As anxious as I was to move here, I had so many people enviously wish me well and, even now, it is hard for my friends to understand when I miss the Michigan seasons. But oh, do I miss the Michigan seasons.
Octobers are particularly hard.
We planned a trip to visit family hoping we’d catch a glimpse of the beauty of the leaves changing. Green trees were plentiful but colorful fall trees were nowhere to be seen so we settled for real apple cider and cider mill donuts. In addition to the lack of seasons, Hawaii is also missing apple cider. They spice apple juice and try to pass it off as cider but those of us who know know that it is not true apple cider. We claimed this small victory and tried to pretend we were satisfied with the lack of fall we encountered.
Now we are back in Hawaii and fall is in Michigan. The trees are painting the landscape with oranges and reds. It’s hard not to be envious of the bonfires and beauty and change.
Change. I think that’s what I miss the most about the mainland. Hawaii often feels like a limbo-land, like something from a dream. Time seems to follow the trees lead and just stop. Maybe people love it so much because they are tired of their lives slipping through their fingers and are eager for time to stop. I am not one of those people.
I seek for patterns to put some shape, to put some purpose, to my life.
I seek for patterns to put some shape, to put some purpose, to my life. The long, lazy days of summer, marked by pools and the forgetting of time. The beauty of fall, marked by the busy work of preparing the yard for winter and resetting our lives for school and work. The calmness of winter, marked by curling up with coffee and liquid chocolate as we ponder the magnificence of God coming to dwell among us. Spring brought the newness of life. As the flowers made their first appearances, we too came out from our winter cocoons and enjoyed the rebirth of creation. There is a beauty in this pattern, a constant reminder that life is always changing ever moving.
Last weekend, I needed change. I needed to be reminded that the world is being recreated and that we are but a breath on this earth. This sorrow, this pain that is overwhelming me, it needed to be put in it’s place. So I decided to defy the perpetual summer and to create a fall for me and my house.
Despite my best hopes, I woke up in pain. This meant that the pumpkin farm a town over wasn’t an option. We settled for Target. It’s amazing the amount of comfort I find from walking into Target, one of the few places that feels like home because it looks like home. Even here, the aisles are filled with decorations heralding in fall. Hubby and I looked through a few of the giant bins of pumpkins. He quickly settled on one but I looked carefully through, inspecting each one and searching for just the right size.
When we got back home, the work immediately begins. As determined as I was to recreate fall, I know something needed to be different. I didn’t want to simple carve the silly little triangle eyes and missing teeth face I had grown up placing on my pumpkin, I wanted something more beautiful and intricate. So I broke out the power tools.
I quickly lose patience in any sort of crafting and this was no exception. While I fluttered between the table and the kitchen, carving my pumpkin, emptying it of seeds, making bread, and carving a flower, life on my pumpkin.
The irony of it all was lost on me at the time. The lotus flower, life, I was carving to celebrate a season of death and burial. But isn’t that how we put death in perspective, by mocking it?
Even in this season of brokenness and loss, we know, it will not always be so. We know that the morning is coming and life will reign. So now, we can confidently embrace fall and death and loss because we know, this is now the end, for the season will change and spring will come.