So apparently, the St. Louis Cardinals won game 6 last night of the World Series. It was all over facebook! Ha! Somehow I truly believe that if I didn't watch it, we had a better chance of winning. And I heard it was a big deal. Something about extra innings. Everyone is seeing red, Cardinal red. I am a fair-weather fan, for sure. But it is good to be on the winning side. And when you're from Missouri, that has happened 10 times... going on 11.
Which brings us to autumn. I love autumn the best. Some people think autumn is the end, the end of summer, the end of warmth. But I see the leaves turning colors is the beginning of God's palette of colors. Sure, there will be dreary days ahead with grays and browns, but it is the red maple leaf that brings me hope that life continues. For without the dreary days of winter, we would not have the beauty of spring, summer, and autumn. I am reminded that it takes the previous seasons' rain, snow, and drought to make the glorious autumn. Sort of like not having the rainbow without the rain. You can explain all about green and oxygen and chlorophyll and rain, but I will always see God with a set of outrageous water colors enjoying this time of year more than we can imagine. Purple, yellow, orange, green, gold, brown, resplendent in hope and joy.
When I was teaching (30 years ago!), I was the yearbook sponsor. No, I did not have a journalism degree but having been on the award-winning newspaper staff in highs school, I knew a good student publication when I saw it. The students and I grew together and learned the ropes step by step. To earn extra money, we sold Boosters for 50 cents a line. I told the kids that if some kid wanted to buy a questionable booster, we took the money and ran. Only when they would come back after the book was produced and questioned our judgment would we reveal that we had edited big time... in order to save my job, of course. There was the occasional "Football players do it in 4 quarters" and "Let's eat tacos in the 'Y'" that did not make it into the booster section. But to appease the kids, I allowed "Ms. B soaks her head in tomato juice." I figured if that was the meanest thing they could say about me, then I would share the laugh.
For all intents and purposes, I should be dead. Just stupid things from childhood. Like doing donuts in a Honda in the back of the capitol building during an ice storm to see how close we could get to the building without hitting it. WTF? Until I was 7, my mother worked nights and my sisters, ages 5, 10, & 11, watched over me. By today's standards, that's child endangerment. But back in the 50s, I was blessed to have such wonderful angels in my life. I didn't see them wearing white robes and gossamer wings with golden halos. They were just beautiful angels with light brown, dark brown, and blond hair. Eyes of blue, hazel, and green, skin so soft. Love so abundant. They loved me unconditionally, changed my diapers, fed me, dressed me, carried me around when I cried, sang to me, rocked me, and protected me. I grew up with these angels and more, a kind neighbor who was like a grandmother, the attendance secretary who knew my sisters had to take off school when one of us was sick, a teacher who always watched over me even when I wasn't in her class, a priest who would miss me if I wasn't at church on Sunday morning, random people who looked out for me even when I didn't know they were out there. Watching over this little kid whose head was obviously soaked in tomato juice... until she could fend for herself.
I still feel those angels around me, checking in with me when I'm down, holding me up when I can't stand, loving me when I don't feel lovable, cheering me on when I can't be my own cheerleader, hugging me when I am low. None of them wear wings, but they all have halos! At least they do in my eyes.