The beautiful sunflowers have gone to seed. Their velvety yellow petals have curled tightly to the center and the grainy brown centers have dropped their seeds to the earth. They stand majestic, yet bare, waving in the wind.
My sister-in-law lost her father this morning. Though he was in a retirement home, he had not been ill and had moved to Seattle to be closer to his two daughters and their families. He passed in his sleep, quietly, peacefully; his season on this earth at its end.
As I drove around our section this evening, having alone time to think, I looked at the remnants of the sunflowers and was sad to see them go. But right around the corner I noticed the newly planted wheat fields. Kermit-green sprouts were just beginning to shoot up, and they danced and swayed in the autumn sunshine. Last summer these same fields were reaped as harvested wheat came to full circle and ended its season. Now, new life unfolds. It will lie in wait while the winter winds brush across the prairie; sleeping through dark and snow until the springtime sun embraces it once again.
Ecclesiastes says, "To everything there is a season under the heavens". And though the circle never changes and the seasons come to us all, tonight my heart is heavy for my sister-in-law who has - for this season - lost her father. May the promise of a new life for him sustain her through a time when her own feels shadowed in sorrow and may tomorrow bring new light and hope for the seasons ahead.