A rare series of snowstorms have rendered the Seattle area into a beautiful winter scene.
The rain falls nightly now, brining with it a chill to the air. This is deceptive. It’s not really cold to my body and it isn’t Autumn at the equator. When I listen to the sound of the rain—which is at times a roaring noise—on these October nights, some memory inside me expects to arise in the morning to see orange, yellow, and red leaves falling from the trees. But, no. When I peer out my window in the morning light, it is Summer for another day, and I return from my early morning jog to be drenched in sweat, even though my Indonesian friends still wear long-sleeves.
I miss the misty cool mornings of the Pacific Northwest, undoubtably colder than any temperature experienced here in Indonesia. But two months from now, when I greet the Sumatran sunshine, I won’t be missing the Seattle rain.
I’m improving on my Bahasa Indonesia skills. Not always quick to speak, I can understand some, and have brief exchanges. I’m better at writing: Aku senang disini di Indonesia, dan aku juga rindu temanku dan keluargaku di America. Yang tidak ada masalah. Terima kasih Tuhan atas hidup ini. Content here and missing home. It’s no problem to be in between. Yes, thank you God for this life.
I stare at photos of changing Autumn leaves and remember all that goes along with the transition of seasons. Most importantly for now, I’ll take this blessing of the rain-soaked Sumatran earth. This is my season now.
As the days draw nearer to the Winter Solstice, the trees have become increasingly bare. Their leaves fall from branches, showering the earth with a cascade of color. Wet and clumped together, the leaves cover sidewalks and dot the still green grass. This being the Pacific Northwest, there is still plenty of green and growth that will last even through winter. Here, the Autumn is a mystical time of changing colors, foggy mornings, and rain. When clouds part, the distant mountain ranges reveal freshly snow-covered jagged peaks, a grand contrast against a deep blue sky.
And I am in the process of saying goodbye to it all, wondering how the change of country, culture, and climate will change my faith.
I am reminded of something I wrote 10 years ago, when I was studying abroad in Tuebingen, Germany. I wrote this after taking a meditative walk, holding a leaf:
My leaf was wet with dew. I noticed the leaves as they fell, how some fell straight down to the ground, others fell on top of branches and bushes, and yet still more floated gracefully and gently to the earth. Each leaf has a different shape, size and color. The leaves that became dry were easily crunched. Every leaf that fell to the ground covered the ground and would someday become a part of the earth. This is a cycle, this is a season. The leaves that were on the trees have served their purpose and it is time to move on. In the spring, new leaves will take their places and it will happen again. My life has changed seasons…
I may not know completely, how the season of my life will change, but I trust God for the guidance, and wait with joy and expectation for what is to come in my new home and community in Indonesia.
Below are photos from walking in Seattle this year:
Click the link to expand the post and see a few more photos I have taken this autumn in Seattle.