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I think the pumpkins are going to make it this year. There must be enough in the neighborhood to keep the squirrels eating courses, traveling from house to house like we’ve always wanted to do ourselves: first course at Winnie’s, second at Connelly’s , third at Margie’s, and so on.

The mums are another story. I clearly haven’t cared for them as they’ve needed. There are still a few pops of color in the front for those passing by to enjoy but from my seat, there are the sure signs of winter on its way.

Sam is oblivious to the leaves being scooped up by the city. The noise of the truck’s motor is obnoxious and I wonder why it has arrived here at this time, at this very moment of the day—the five minutes I have to take a seat on the steps with old dog as we move into the morning together.

Then I think why does anything happen as it does? If God knows everything did He orchestrate these things too? The timing of the blooms folding into themselves, the squirrels’ gnawing on the happy pumpkins, and the sweeping up of the street’s debris?

As the yellow street sweeper charges off and a level of silence descends, the grinding sound of an old door is craned shut on the garbage truck. It drives off and the wind, sightless yet sensuous, steals the scene from the towering trees beneath the fall gray sky.

I think I would not have appreciated the peace had I not had to wait through the ruckus.

And if there were no struggle, would we appreciate comfort when it comes? Would we embrace the Love wrapped around us in moments like these, right here, right now, this very second, swirling and filling the one open to it, with Beauty and Strength for the day? I don’t know. We just might miss it.

Photo: Alex Geerts

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