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GOD’S PATCHWORK QUILT
written October, 2004
Driving the rolling hills on the way to Nowhere, I top a hill, somewhat larger than the others, to see the array of trees of many variety stretching before me as the hills flow down into the valley ahead of me. It’s a sight that I have seen many times over during the summer, but now, in the mellowing days of fall it is different.
All summer long I’ve been driving around town as my job prescribes for me, but in the swelter of summer, the blanket of green formed by the thick tangle of trees in Kansas City doesn’t catch my eye in this way. Had I noticed at this same spot in July, I would have seen an almost never ending green, and if I think about it, I would be refreshed somewhat by the knowledge that, if I had time, pulling my car under a part of that protective cover would bring some welcome relief from the hot summer sun. but I never have time to do that, well, unless a client cancels an appointment, and then I grumble because of the lost revenue, so the cool respite under the blanket of green rarely comes to mind.
But now, in the cooling days of autumn, topping the hill brings a sight that I’ve enjoyed for most of the 28 years I’ve called Kansas City Home. Yes, Fall in Missouri has a special treat. And when you spend as much time in your automobile as I do, you might, like me, begin to wax poetic.
The sight I love so is those same trees, now at the height of their annual parade of color as they prepare for even cooler weather yet to come. Where before I saw a carpet of green following the gentle flow of the hills, I now see a calico pattern of reds, yellows and golds, some still green and others in shades of coral and vivid rose.
I whimsically see this brightly variegated pattern as being a patchwork quilt, made especially for us by God’s own hand. This quilt is stretched over the rolling hills, and I feel sure, although I can’t see it, tucked in around the edges to keep in the last vestiges of warmth of this season.
Could this be Nature’s way of reminding us that we should prepare for the winter ahead? “Get out the quilts!” she is saying. “It will be cold soon, and I know you don’t want to think about winter, but it is time. Air the blankets and quilts, protect the water faucets, make sure last year’s winter coats still fit and are clean.”
All too soon that patchwork quilt I see from my vantage point will be strewn on the ground. We only have a short period of warning to prepare before that patchwork quilt will be under our feet, crunching and rustling as we walk, and it will serve as a blanket in one sense, as it protect the ground growth for the hard winter months ahead. But in another way the tree limbs which will begin to be exposed as the leaves fall, will be skeletal arms, swaying and thrashing in the winds, warning us to delay no longer, winter is very close.
So, while I slow my car to a pace that is likely maddening to any other driver unfortunate enough to have picked this street to drive today, I know to soak in the beauty and enjoy it today. Soon it will be getting cooler and the nip of Winter will be all around me. And I make a mental note to check out my winter clothes during the next weekend. Oh, and get the quilts out for some fresh air while the weather is still amenable.
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