Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Comes to an End

Last month, my son-in-law and I were Kayaking the White River up in the Manistee National Forest. The leaves were just beginning to turn (as you can see in this picture).

Friends and I have been kayaking three times since. I wish I had taken pictures each week. The leaves were more beautiful each time.

Our Indian Summer has come and gone, but I have not yet put the kayaks in storage. I doubt we get to use them again, and yet I keep them within reach in hopes of one more time on the water before the wintry frosts are here to stay.

Tomorrow night our street will be full of trick-or-treaters, and October will come to an end one porch light at a time. It sometimes seems October's time of harvest marks the close of a year even more than does December. I always become a little more pensive as the leaves finally fall.
A few years ago, I put it this way... 

A Melancholy Splendor
.A melancholy splendor comes
when autumn chills,
and green begins to bleed,
and red and gold
and russet runs the hills...
when all that grows
is gathered in the fields
and orchard rows
to be busheled up,
pressed and poured out,
or left alone to seep
in the fallen tea of earth...
when gardens go to seed,
and bursting milkweed
begs for second birth
by letting go the withered pod
to haunt
the meadows
and the markers
on the old church lawn
where, but for lonely shadows,
all summer shade is gone
in the melancholy splendor
of the fall.



It's been a great start to the school year at Calvary Christian Schools. Contrary to trends in similar schools in our conference, CCS enrollment is up about 12% with the possibility of one or two additional students joining us in the weeks ahead.

To begin with... Our varsity volleyball team won the conference championship last week and begins the District Tournament this week. Our first ever National Honor Society Induction Ceremony is a week from Monday night.  Basketball seasons for fifth grade through high school will soon be underway. We welcome Coach Jim Warren to our staff and wish him and the boys well. Coach Brad Richards has already begun his inspiring pep talks with the girl's team. We have had a series of fine chapel messages on this year's theme "212 in 2012," which applies the boiling point of water to our spiritual lives.  Three alumni have already been chapel speakers since first quarter. It was great to hear how God is working in their lives. We're off to a great start, and the staff and student are very, very excited about this school year.
So let's not let the tone of this poem dampen our spirits like the rain we had this weekend. Lots of people have a touch of melancholy this time of year. I think it's because we enjoy the beauty of autumn but wrestle with the finality of all that began in spring. With winter comes a sort of "reset" for another year, and every month is a gift from God--I sense that this year more than ever. Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow! 
Note about the poem (click on the red words for deeper detail): Between the lines of " A Melancholy Splendor" are hints of the relationships between life and death, harvest and labor, the garden and weeds (nurture vs. nature), beauty and decay, and hope and despair in the fall (by playing on the word as both a season and a theological term). Since childhood, I've been fascinated by Milkweed. Its life cycle is very dramatic from beginning to end when it seems to "give up its ghosts" to the wind. Its scientific name comes from Asclepius, the Greek god of healing. Milkweed also plays a "life and death" role in the life cycle of monarch butterflies.
Because I know we have several new readers this week, please read the first post of "To Begin With" by clicking on those three red words. That link will explain the title and purpose of this administrator's blog. Thanks for stopping by.

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