“Let’s go into the forest!” yells my girl from her cozy seat in the wagon.
It’s fall, and the soaring hair of the trees is towhead, mass of yellow shot through with light. That I might be doing dishes seems a scandal.
“Pomme. Pomme,” rises the little voice of my one-year-old. Why he begs for scarred crabapples full of astringent bite is puzzling, but I can’t say no. I love that my kids see the woods as a place of food.
But we don’t eat the mushrooms. Sweetpea gently caresses them with a stick, and then Xavi reaches out with pudgy hand and lops a cap off.
“Uh-oh! Uh-oh!” his tiny pointer finger tries to correct the mishap.
We continue. They climb back into the wagon for bouncy ride, bumping over tree roots and fallen walnuts with blackening husks, sharp smell that takes me back thirty years to the library grounds across the street from my childhood home.
They were black squirrels there, burying walnuts. Here in Michigan, it’s plump, red-furred ones, chasing and chirping and fluffing up the forest floor, little balls of contrariety.
Warm wind cascades through the canopy and I look up, suck in my breath. The sun is doing magic, lighting the woods with fiery fingertips, turning earthly scene into duet of glory. It is spacious, a cathedral of autumn’s joy, and we are taken in.
What is God like if in the dying He is still this beautiful?
“F–k you.” (more…)