At last, the first cool, crisp morning of autumn has arrived in South Texas! Another summer is drifting out of view under the same clear blue sky that's providing a truly magnificent backdrop for the clusters of migrating butterflies floating by my perch on our back porch. Periodically, a few more hackberry leaves flutter to the ground in slowly swirling spirals, like giant question marks hanging in the air, framing Big Questions I can't begin to answer.
As much as I'm enjoying this pleasant temperature, I can't help but be aware that it's due in part to a cool front formed in conjunction with the arrival of Hurricane Michael, wreaking havoc along the Gulf Coast just hundreds miles from here. It could just as easily have made landfall much nearer to us, as other hurricanes have in the past, but it didn't. I don't pretend to understand the complexities of climate change or meteorology; all I know is that the same winds that helped bring this deliciously cool breeze wafting through our house today also brought devastation to countless home and families living not that far away.
Just another reminder of how everything and everyone is inter-related; how complicated even the most simple-seeming event can be, with consequences and circumstances I really can't begin to predict or plan, much less understand. Whether they are random thoughts about falling leaves and weather patterns, or more disturbing things like national politics, Supreme Court picks, global warming and nuclear arming, I'm tempted to let them disturb my mind and sadden my heart. Instead, I suddenly remember the words from a favorite bumper sticker that my sweet pal, Zet, quoted on her way out the door earlier this morning: "Life's too mysterious - don't take it so serious!"
Right on cue, an unidentified songbird, hidden from view in a nearby tree, launches into a lilting melody, as if personally delivering an invitation to be grateful for this day, this breeze, this moment. Reminding me that all is well, and all shall be well. That whatever the circumstances and however I feel about them, all of life is truly a gift, but only if I'm ready and willing to receive it. And, right now, I am. How about you?