The leaves on the hill outside my window are changing already. I have it in my mind that the fall colors always peak on October 10th. This is the arbitrary and unscientific date that I have fixed upon, probably because for the first four years of marriage I was pretty sure that Matt's birthday was the 10th, not the 7th. Last year the leaves didn't peak on the 10th. Every year I worry, as indeed this year, that it won't be the 10th--it will be too early or too late. I think about this always as I drive, counting the trees that have a few leaves of color and the ones that have none at all. And then, for those few days in October, desperately savoring each drive until the leaves begin to fall and we begin the long inevitable slide into winter.
This year comes with great sorrow. The neighbors have, as far as I can judge, sinfully cut down Three Beautiful Trees that were particularly and painfully exquisite in the fall. I hovered at my window the days they were being cut, trying to see whether the wood looked sick at all, or if any branches were dead. After three days of window gazing I am SURE they were quite well and were therefore cut for a Bad Reason, whatever it might be. I said to myself over and over in rage and sorrow of the men out cutting and chipping and drinking thermoses of coffee, "They were like those who swing axes in a forest of trees." (Psalm 74:5 ESV)
Our wonderful guest preacher yesterday, Rabbi Ron Goldberg, assured us that Jesus would undoubtedly return around the time, if not on, the Feast of the Trumpets. What a glorious moment! All creation (or at least the Northern Half) in a splendor of gold, red, orange, to welcome him. If He doesn't come on the Feast of the Trumpets, I hope he will come on October 10th, when the leaves are sure to peak in Binghamton. I have faith that they will.