The dry leaves gather in the corners around my house, up against the garage doors, under the porch and patio furniture, and across the driveway that was finally completed just this past summer. Although there are still cheerful pumpkins on our porches, it is nearly time to throw them in the garden as seed for next year’s crop. In just a week, much of the family will gather here for Thanksgiving dinner, and in the days after that, green and red will replace the warm browns and golds of Autumn.
And like the seasons, our family tree also shows its own circles of growth. This year I am thankful for the older generation, Granddaddy and Gran and Grammy Sue, who will be here to root us to the past with rich memories and treasured stories of those who have already passed away and provide rich soil for our tree. I am also thankful for the new nests that have been carefully tucked into our branches through marriages, new relationships, and for the saplings of new family units. And I am especially thankful for the man who has been my solid, tree trunk for 29 years standing firm through all the seasons we have weathered. In just another few blinks, I know it will be our turn to root this tree. Not yet, but very soon, and then now — we will see the spring blossoms of the next generation and rejoice in the blessing of own grandchildren (probably fruits and nuts like the rest of us!)
But today there are dry leaves around my feet, reminders of this most recent summer and its rich blessings. And I am thankful.