The Truth About Falling & Letting Go

{By Amy Breitmann}

amy's autumn post1

amy's autumn post3
It’s been many autumns since I watched my grandmother peel apples in her yellow-tiled kitchen with a thousand acres of corn stretched out in the Iowa soil around us. Grandpa was chasing the last of the daylight to bring the corn harvest in before the first frost.

 

I think of her and the farm as I trace my finger over the words on the stained recipe card pulled from her file. I sip my coffee and stare into a new morning. I reach for the first apple, knife in hand, and glance out the window toward the Maple trees. A single yellow leaf dances down.  I cut the red skin and I core out the inside, discarding the seeds of spring. A dishtowel rests on my shoulder and the morning sun is just peeking through the Georgia hardwoods. I glance up again to catch another golden leaf floating down, slowly.

 

I remind myself that winter snow will silhouette the trees in the morning light soon, and that the change is to be expected. But autumn always catches me a bit off guard.
There is a hint of sadness in the slowing down, in the diminishing daylight and leaves and the surrendering of the newness. There is a new tempo in the kitchen and in my routine. There is a little grief in the rhythms of the branches going bare.

 

There is a still, small voice of “goodbye” in this season of letting go.

 

I count the leaves as they fall and I fight to count the gifts before my heart grows cold again.

 

I start with one, just like that first maple leaf. One thing to lay down at the foot of the only tree that ever really mattered. One gift to count by the cross, one forgiveness to grant, one mercy to claim. One word to own.

 

And one by one they pile around me, the blessings.

 

Hasn’t life so often felt like a thousand consecutive autumns? The letting go, the turning over, the release, the waiting for newness, the quiet loneliness? The reds and yellows and oranges that color the difficultly in surrender?

 

The acts of sacrifice it takes before seeing any signs of spring?

 

This season it feels like my heart will tumble with the leaves in the falling. That I will forget how the calendar keeps spinning onward and how this is not the final season. I fear that I will twirl helpless to the ground and be covered by the winter snow, buried in burdens.

 

But I fight to remember the truth about trees.

 

Because the bronze hickories and the russet oaks and the glowing yellow maples tell a story that I need to hear. Their colors emerge only in the stopping, only in the resting, only in the changing temperatures. Only in the still surrendering.

 

Their vibrant colors were there all along, but are only able to appear just before the letting go. Sacred things happened in the hidden places behind the bark that unmasked each one and loosened them free to be their most authentic selves.

 

It is a beautiful thing, the falling.

 

I open my hand and drop the last of the apple slices into the dish. And then I open my hand in a prayer to let go of the things I hold too dear: pride, fear, control, unforgiveness.
They drop, one, by one, in silent tears.

 

I wonder if to God this is my most beautiful self~ the girl who holds nothing but faith and a bowlful of autumn apples? The girl who keeps trying to be like the falling leaves: broken and beautiful.

 

She enters the kitchen quietly, my daughter. Her sleepy hug reminds me that there will be spring. There are more mornings and more recipes. And as I hug her, I know for certain: There is always more mercy, more grace, and more crops to bring in before the frost threatens.

 

There are more gifts to count than falling leaves.

_________________________________________________

Amy 1Amy Breitmann’s name means “Beloved” and she’s on a quest to believe it. Her boots carry Midwest soil but now she kicks it up in the south where she weaves marriage, ministry and motherhood together. Though she’s been a Christian as far as she can remember, her boots are covered with mud from her wanderings. As a cancer survivor, she was the Co-Founder of The Lydia Project, a ministry which holds hands with other women facing cancer.  She also is a lost-sock finder, a keeper of secrets for the best cheesecake recipe, and gets grace in the ordinary. The words that tumble out on her blog Beloved in Blue Jeans are balm that the Spirit speaks to quiet her soul. She loves others to eavesdrop there and walk a bit of this cobbled path with her. She’s a Co-Visionary with Tammy, Facebook Team Editor, Big-Dreamer, and Writer. Find her on her blog by clicking here, or on Facebook  or Twitter.

 

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6 Comments on “The Truth About Falling & Letting Go

  1. Amy, there is so much grace and mercy in these words. This is what I come back too, time and again: “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” James 2:13. That’s one of two scriptures God gave me, almost 20 years ago. It’s posts like this that give help me to see it true, because God knows I need it too.

  2. A beautiful post, Amy. I am especially glad you saw that first fall leaf through my kitchen window. You and your words are such a blessing to all of us. And that apple crisp was the perfect start of this beautiful season.

    • I’ve lived almost 20 years in a place where there are basically two seasons, hot and hotter. Although Miami has tropical beauty and grace and said sultry gate,your post makes me long for the North. Thanks for sharing my friend since 2nd grade. “You know I love ya more than my luggage.”

  3. Such beauty and grace in your words here, Amy. This … “I wonder if to God this is my most beautiful self~ the girl who holds nothing but faith and a bowlful of autumn apples? The girl who keeps trying to be like the falling leaves: broken and beautiful.” Loved so much. Thank you for sharing with us. xoxo

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