A Note From the Fire Marshal’s Wife

Change can be sadly beautiful! Fall represents the ending of summer and the beginning of winter. It is the third season. It is Harvest, a time of reaping what has been sewn in the first season. Hence, “The spring of the leaf” for spring and “The fall of the leaf” for fall. When deciduous trees shed their leaves, in Missouri, it is usually a display of colors from the richest reds to the deepest yellows with a hint of oranges and greens that the eye can marvel at as they float and dance to the ground. I can’t put my finger on it, but something so wonderfully beautiful is sad in a way. The definition of fall is to move downward, typically from a higher to a lower level. There is definite sadness to that thought. 

Last weekend I found myself in Lamar, Missouri for my Aunt Glenda’s unexpected funeral. She was the only sister to my dad and other three brothers and she was the baby of the family. Like we see at most funerals, there were pictures displayed of the seasons of her lifetime. Childhood to adulthood, with favorite pets and loved ones. There were ones of her smiling, laughing and pondering a moment. Snapshots of each season of her in black and white photos that changed to color magically. Her seasons of a life frozen in time. So many people had shown up, in this small community, to love up each other and usher her out. I spoke with a man, at the funeral, who knew Tim was the State Fire Marshal of Missouri. As our conversation went from Aunt Glenda he wanted to share how he felt that Lamar had one of the best Volunteer Fire Departments EVER and he was so grateful for them and all the good they have done and are doing for their community. It came to me. What you sew is what you reap. The Volunteer Fire Department of Lamar is obviously sewing good for their community and this was not a conversation I would have had if not for Aunt Glenda’s funeral. 

This was Aunt Glenda’s harvest. She had sewn a lot of good in her first and second season and now she reaps the greatness of her efforts in her third by so many loving and kind people being present for her family. At the cemetery the wind was blowing heavy and the leaves, in all their glory, were drifting downward. My dad, at some point, said to me, “This is wonderful.. well, I shouldn’t say wonderful…” He trailed off, then I said, “It is a wonderful sad, Dad. A wonderfully, beautiful sad.” 

The way I saw it that day was that the fall is not a downward but rather a forward movement, ushering us into the next season. “For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…” the perfect verse from Ecclesiastes 3 for all who have moved forward with “The fall of the leaf.”