I woke up this morning in a familiar place but under very different circumstances. We’ve had a vacation home in the Southern Rockies for about fifteen years, and our family has been out here many times. However, this is my first trip out here in the fall. While the house is the same, the landscape and the wildlife are not. Even the sun rises in a slightly different location.
As I watched the changing of the early morning sky, my feet feeling like ice and my hands trembling a bit in the frosty air, I thought about how much this reminds me of life itself and the changing landscape we all experience as we grow older.
When we visit our mountain home in the summer, the aspen leaves quake, the sage is green, the Indian paintbrush is red, and the hummingbirds are plentiful. As I look out today, there are no leaves on the aspen trees, no green sage or flowers of any kind, and the hummingbirds have been replaced by Steller’s jays. I’m seeing the world through new eyes just as I do when there’s a change in my life, like the death of a loved one or my children all leaving the nest. The scene shifts and changes. The people I see every day are replaced by new faces. Each day reveals something I had not noticed or experienced before.
As we drove up the mountain yesterday, everything looked bleak—nature had become brown and brittle. I marveled at how strange it all looked—the bare aspens, the fatter and furrier fawns, the patches of snow on the ground and on the road. In the early hours of this morning, the world was cold and dark, and I watched the dawn take place over a barren valley. I was joined by a flock of jays and a herd of deer. Together, we watched the sun come over the mountain, and I realized something.
Life can be bleak and barren. It can be dark and cold. We are sometimes surrounded by strangers. But just as the sun made its way over the horizon, and the night gave way to a beautiful and brilliant new day, so, too, does life. We can choose to stay under the covers, secluded in a dark room, unwilling to take that tentative step onto the ice cold deck. Or we can get out of bed, open the door to the brisk, fresh air, and seek the rising sun.
God has given us the miracle of the new day, a new start, a new chance to enjoy life. Even when we face death and dormancy around us, we have the reminder that all things are temporary. The sun always rises, its warm rays dispelling the cold, and its brightness leading us into a new day, a new chapter, a new season
Let us all be careful not to let the bleak and barren times blind us to the rising sun and all the new experiences that it foretells.
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What I was writing about a year ago this week: Feeling Grateful.
Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, is based, in part, on her family history and is garnering many five star reviews.
Book Three of the Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, is now available! Purchase your copy today of the “book that was a joy to read!”- Ann on GoodReads.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019).