Falling Leaves – Failing Health

Leaves have been slowly falling for the last week or so. They litter our lawn and beckon me to limber up the rake. Living in the country, I’m wont to let the wind do the raking for me, but this year I may gather some to enrich our compost heaps. That is, if I can get some relief from this arthritic knee which has me hobbling around the house.

With the falling leaves came falling temperatures. Although warm days continued into November, inevitably frost shriveled the flowers and killed the pepper plants. The garden cries out for me to abandon my seat at the computer and tidy up for the approaching winter. But I don’t quite feel like it.

Ah, yes, that nasty word, winter. Half the population laments the approach of shorter days, snowstorms, windshields encased in frost, and sky-high heating bills. The other half, well perhaps less than half, eagerly waxes their skiis, sharpens their skates, gets out their winter coats and plans a winter getaway to snow country.

Whatever one’s proclivity, it is pointless to complain about winter’s arrival. The passing of the seasons is unavoidable. We’d best face the facts with a cheerful countenance.

There is a season for everything. And, unlike the return of spring, we will not discover a fountain of youth for our aging bodies. No matter how many anti-winkle creams or pills we pop or operations we endure, age will gradually—or quickly—take its toll. Forgive me gentle reader for broaching a subject that is almost taboo. But it seems to me that like winter, we need to accept the inevitable—and prepare for it. Okay, I admit it, I haven’t yet given in to Mary Helen’s urging that we purchase a cemetery plot.

It will do me no good to nostalgically long for earlier years when I could run and jump and climb without hindrance. When the roof needs shingling again, I don’t think I’ll do it myself. No, it’s time to stare reality in the face—or in the mirror. My hair is thinning, my heart is weakening, and my legs are giving out. Last weekend I had to stop the repairs I was doing on my woodland bridge and take a breather.

None of this means that we are doomed to gloom. As the years accumulate, we can focus more on becoming godly, and less on feats of athletic skill. We can allow our circumstances to generate more empathy and compassion for others. We can read good books and write letters and send emails and use the phone to encourage people. We can talk to God more, intercede more, and study more about our future hope. Heaven is ahead. Christ will return. The kingdom will come. There will be no more pain and no more tears. What’s not to like about that!  [For books by this author see: http://www.countrywindow.ca]

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