First Chill

The autumn equinox has passed, and frost delivers a visual sentence of death to summer. This morning the cattails in our bog were tinged with delicate, crunchy white. By noon all traces of frost were gone, but scars remain. Here and there the icy fingers seized a patch of grass, a cluster of goldenrod, a clump of purple wild aster, or a branch of red osier dogwood. Our herbs are seared and shriveled in their barrel containers.

Late September ushers in the glory days when earth spreads make-up on her face, like an aging woman hiding wrinkles in layers of glossy red. We love the glory days. After weeks of heat, we relish the invigorating chill compelling us to burrow into warm sweaters. Yet we celebrate these illusive moments of fading warmth, those final poignant remnants of a dying year.

~ Margaret Longenecker Been, A Time Under Heaven: Seasonal Reflections and Poems (Margaret is a dear friend and a Hope Blog reader.) Visit her beautiful blog, Northern Reflections.

13 thoughts on “First Chill

  1. Valerie C says:

    I live in Anchorage, Alaska, which is surrounded by mountains. Just the other day my husband and I noticed that they are getting covered with snow! The Alaskans refer to this as “termination dust.” Here comes snowshoeing season. 🙂

  2. darlene Schreiner says:

    I have always loved fall. To read the words she wrote made me love it even more. To be so talented is a blessing and sharing that blessing is a true gift. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Margaret’s reflections on nature are absolutely delicious. She’s a painter with words. Check out her blog for more. I sat today with two of her books and a cup of tea and it filled my heart with peace. Nature is a “balm of hurt minds,” as Shakespeare put it.

  4. Marilyn B says:

    How beautiful. We’ve not had our first frost yet though it can come at any time. We are having a lovely “Indian Summer” which I hope will last a while as we had a cold wet spring and summer.

    It is 85 degrees outside my door right now! But the orange and gold in the trees tell me it will soon be over.

  5. Judi says:

    I like that. The title. The picture. And the word picture. Beautiful. Thank you for the gift packaged in your post.


  6. Lori Glass says:

    I’m not much into poetry but this beautifully discribes fall which is my favorite time of year. It is time to get the puzzles out.

  7. steve burns says:

    we met very briefly back in the day at the then Brookfield AG. I was on the security staff. It was in those pro-life days of Missionaries to the Preborn, ect. You had come to a large rally there.
    Your tiny little form in a long dark winter coat, quiet, confident. I know of how my Lord uses poeple and then equips then supernatually.
    I know what this looks like in a person. I have been in the ministry for 25 yrs.
    I know when some one has the annointing. It isnt a denominational thing.
    I miss you, simply put. Your somewhat hoarse throaty little voice preaching a no compromised gospel. Because I drive from rural viroqua to milw once a week,
    you made the time pass, not to mention the ministry I recieved. Please remembe Phil 1-6. Where ever you land He will use you.
    . You are always welcome in our home personally or on the radio.
    Your talent will not go unnoticed for long. So continue to remain our hero for the gospel. If there is any thing we can to to ease your burden. please ask Burns.
    Remember you dont get stuff if you dont ask….In His service Steve and Sandy

  8. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Hi Steve, thanks so much for the kind words. That must have been the rally maybe where F. Schaeffer was speaking that night? No, that was summer, so it couldn’t have been if I was wearing my dark winter coat! We were there numerous times as I remember pro-life groups were renting that lovely facility there at that church for various things that year. That would have been 1992 if I remember correctly.

    It seems like yesterday. God has been meeting our needs and doing more than we could ever ask or think. In the last two weeks, my husband started a new job, and a very precious blessing came our way that lifted our hearts more than we can express. God hears our prayers. His timing is’t always ours, but that’s a good thing, because HIS timing is always perfect. Thank you, again for the Christian love from you and your wife Sandy. We’re rejoicing that God has turned what the enemy of our souls meant for evil into good. Romans 8:28. God’s Word can be taken to the bank—all the time.

  9. steve burns says:

    Encouraging is the only word that would apply here.
    God’s own wont have to beg for bread.
    i’m up for a youtube daily program hosted by you, just sayin. steve & sandy

  10. Ingrid Schlueter says:

    Margaret, it was my pleasure. I have both of your books of poetry and seasonal reflections on the table by my rocker. They come out every year at this time. I simply love them and they sit right next to my Wordsworth and Oxford Book of English Verse books on my shelf. Thank you for your artistry!

  11. Cheryl says:

    Ingrid, thank you for introducing us to Margaret, a true wordsmith!
    (And I’m rejoicing with you for the recent blessings to your family!)

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