Monday, August 13, 2012

Falling for fall

Fall is such an exciting time.  Between the leafy color show to the crisp air, the taste of pumpkin treats, and football (for those who enjoy it), the season shines with newness.  Perhaps I'm still a student at heart, but the first sighting of school supplies hitting the shelves fills me with excitement.  September always feels like the beginning of a new year, and it nearly is, as the church year starts late in the fall with Advent.  There is a sense of so much anticipation, so much hope and potential ahead.

Working for a university, I've enjoyed the respite that summer has offered.  A time for vacation, for family, for planning, and for rest.  And yet, I'm ready for activity and busyness to invade the campus once again.  It's been TOO quiet (and that's saying a lot coming from me).  While I crave silence and time to myself, I'm starting to realize that there's a limit.  Left to myself for too long, I start to get a little melancholy, and my productivity and creativity starts to drain away.  I begin to focus on myself and the negativity and doubts start to creep in.  Without a deadline or something to work towards, not much gets done, to the smug satisfaction of my inner critic, who likes to take note of such failures.

But now, the calendar is beginning to fill up.  Next week, our son returns to school to start the 1st grade, and soon after that, we'll begin orientation here at Hollins.  I will be caught up in the frenzied joy of meeting new students, greeting familiar friends, and continuing to seek God's guiding in the ministry here.  It will be another whirlwind of a year, filled with learning, struggles, celebration, trial (and error), excitement, satisfaction, success, and second chances.  It will be a time to reflect back on all those new beginnings I've experienced in my life and to be that welcoming and supportive presence for others as they experience it for the first time.  In the midst of the chaos, I seek to offer opportunities for Sabbath and Sanctuary, and to remind myself that I need them, too.

I am grateful for another new beginning, another new turn in the journey that continues ever on...

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