Fred L: Brown Can Be Beautiful Too

SleetOver the weekend we had our first sleet and snow this fall. Autumn Oak LeavesIt took all the vibrant orange and yellow shading out of our oak leaves  Flowers gone to seed and killed the last of the flowers. Barren woods Most of the trees have dropped their leaves, and the woods looks barren.Dead Leaves Time to rake up all the debris and tuck the flowers into bed.Pine ConeWinter’s coming, and I find myself grieving the loss of warm sunshine Autumn Colorsand brilliant autumn colors. First Snow copyThis past week a dear friend’s father was diagnosed with a stage-4 lung cancer. Very sad. 😦   This morning I went with Susan to visit him. Oak Leaves Life has lost much of its warm sunshine and color for dear Fred, too. His wife just passed away a year ago, and now he has ? months left to live. November Lake copyBut to my delight and amazement, I found that Fred is alive and well in his spirit, still full of reflections on life and wonder over our mighty God. Flowers gone to seedIt struck me that Fred is like the flowers along our lane…still beautiful! IMG_2247Brown can be beautiful too. Golden RodI hope we don’t overlook the beauties in November…and in the elderly. Milk Pod WeedFred was as open as a milk pod weed… cheerfully dispensing seeds of wisdom that had matured over 80+ years of living life to the full. Brown Flower copyHe reminisced about surviving life in Berlin during World War II, serving with the U.S. army in Korea during the Korean War, etc. Hooded MerganserHe talked about things I’d only read about before, and he had some insights and perspectives that were totally new (like seeing this hooded merganser duck on our lake…which I’ve never seen before yesterday!). IMG_2271I’ve known Fred for nearly 20 years, but it took until the November of his life for me to really begin to appreciate the depth of his character! Milk Pod SeedThe 3 of us had such a good visit that I asked if he’d be up for another visit with an agenda: sharing some seeds of wisdom to pass on to others. Queen Anne's Lace Withered“Sure!” he replied…in fact, he’d been thinking about transcendence, wonder, gratefulness…and on and on! He’s going to think about it and try to be prepared for our next visit. Isn’t that cool? Fred makes the brown of life’s November look very rich! What an inspiration. 🙂 Withered Grass

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them…or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it.”  (Ecclesiastes 12:1,6-7)