Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beauty for Ashes

The Willamette Valley where I live is gently slipping into Fall with refreshingly cool mornings, warmish afternoons, and long evenings where darkness slowly covers the sky. For the past couple of days a forest fire, that is burning to the south, has left the air smoky and has settled a fine coating of ash on everything.The air is so full that it tastes like a faint memory of a campfire  
Sitting and looking out my window the horizon is painted with a fine veil of haze. The sunlight, filtered through the smoke, is sharper and at the same time, somehow easier on the eye. Each morning the sunrise spreads across the horizon in a swath of raspberry and orange sherbet, with a lemony yolk of  sun seemingly suspended in the richly colored sky. At nightfall the sky itself is painted in shades of creamsicles and lemon gumdrops swirled together with the coming darkness.

In the old testament book of Isaiah, chapter 61, has these profound words:
. . .to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes

 The fire that is raging nearby causes devastation to the forest, and danger for the folks fighting it.  The smog has wrapped itself into the nooks and crannies of the landscape. The fire, too far away to be felt or seen, has provided a canvas for unexpected beauty.
I spent this past weekend with a couple of gal friends who I have known for a long time--one over 30 years and the other around 20. This next week I am spending with my hubbie to celebrate his 50th birthday. My son seems happy and settled at his college on the East coast. (he is where he should be, but oh, how I can miss him). The rich blessing of friends and family is my own unexpected beauty in a life that can seem insurmountably hard. I hold on, when all seems dark and dismal, waiting for the sun to rise and paint my sky in a rich palette of purples. Somehow, knowing that this beauty is just around the corner, is enough.

1 comment:

Stuff could always be worse said...

You do have such a talent for writing, love this post, beauty for ashes is so true. We will see beauty around the corner.