I walked through a graveyard on an October morn, and worshipped as I wandered. For the slant light illumined the rainbow of trees, each aflame with the beauty of God.
I stood speechless before so many burning bushes.
But stones also surrounded me, cold in the morning air. Stones shaped and engraved, each marking and mourning a life now gone.
An odd juxtaposition. Beauty and life watching over, guarding …. death stones and corpses.
I used to walk through a graveyard like a child scurrying through a field on the way to the playground.
But now I linger and wonder. Every stone a story. Each now silent.
I look again at the trees in their autumn finery, the contrast with the stones enlivening their glory.
And yet, these also will soon choke in the deathly grip of winter. Their leaves dropped and scattered and gone, like the minutes and days of those lying in the ground below them.
I reflect. I too…I too will soon lie down with them.
Soon? Not to be morbid. I may live two or three decades yet. Who knows? But certainly I walk in the autumn of my life.
The years have weight, and my back is stooped.
How I wish…how I wish…
Not to stop the seasons…not deny death its day. No, for I believe in the eternal spring.
I wish for something else today.
I wish and pray…that I too, like the majestic maple before me, would be beautiful and lovely before I die. That the autumn of my life would be aflame with the grandeur of the One who made me.
That there would be a beauty before death.
Is this possible…could this ever happen?
With God, what is impossible?
It will certainly not be a bodily beauty. But the beauty of a life lived with You, and for others. A life of love. Your love, flowing through me. You the branch; I the leaves.
Yes, this is my prayer as I wonder and wander amidst the gray stones, under the rainbow of leaves.
That I too may have beauty. A beauty before death.