Nature's first green is gold, the hardest hue to hold.
Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower;
but only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief, so dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
~ Robert Frost
It doesn’t take much beauty to break open my heart and reconnect me to something greater than my fears.
More often than not, when I’m feeling lost or just plain done I take myself for a walk. Walking. Moving. Breathing. Time after time after time I’ve been able to find myself again - while out walking somewhere else.
As I’ve moved through life and paid attention – one of the great lessons is that beauty is always with us. If “only so an hour.” Mr. Frost captured nature’s presence and fragility in his poem. Nature’s transforming images that are always accompanying us come to life in his words. Before, beside, behind – always around me, around us. Always. I/we just need to trust and look up or look out and have the heart to see.
Beauty can come in a surprising color tucked in a bush or the second highest limb of the closest tree or on the sidewalk just beyond my next step. It can be seen in a piece of natural or human-made artwork.
Seeing something beautiful reminds me of faith and hope and love all wrapped up together. Seeing it invites me to take one more deep breath and then another and then another. That something beautiful doesn’t often fix my problem or solve the puzzle. But, oh my goodness, it strongly and gently reminds me that this world we call home is so much bigger. And this remembering welcomes me back to entering-in again.
A few months ago we learned that a dear family friend had died. Ginny and Ted were two of my parents’ best friends. Ginny and Ted were parents to Phil, Stacy, Steve, Allison and Tricia and each summer our families spent most of the month of August together in CT. Ginny was an Italian treasure with a heart big enough to love the entire world. And could she cook. And could she laugh. And when Ginny loved you, you knew you were truly loved from the top of your head to the tip of your toes.
When I heard that she had died at home with her children beside her, my heart ached with beloved memories of our families’ love for one another. Her death brought up tender memories of losing Ted, and Mom and Dad. It was the end of a treasured chapter and my heart was weeping. So, I went for a walk.
Walking and remembering. Left foot, right foot. Left foot, right. And there she was. I was about to take my next step when I glanced down and saw this leaf on the sidewalk. was it just a leaf or was it something else, something more...a messenger or an angel's visit. Nature’s most beautiful gift of love – right before my eyes.
Thank you, God.
Welcome home, precious daughter, child of God. Say hi to Mom and Dad and Ted for me, will ya?
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan (now a freshman at Guilford College) and Sam at sophomore at DHS in Decatur, GA.