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Portrait of Change
by Teresa Lee Rainey
11/08/04
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Autumn winds whip over branches
Changes flowing on the air.

Watching the changing seasons in Nebraska is a brand new event for me and I am enjoying a front row seat. Cool winds are blowing, bringing amazing scenes before me. The timing could not be better as I have been waging a personal, heated battle of homesickness, nearing depression, for weeks.

Our move this past Spring was exciting and new. The excitement wore thin this Summer. Now, these Autumn winds are forcing me to reflect on differences in my past and current surroundings.

In Florida’s panhandle, there isn’t much change in weather or landscape between Summer and Fall. The only memorable, visible signs of Autumn are pine needles and pecans falling.

Of course, harvests of peanuts and cotton are evident. Farmers reap their bounties and fill warm air with dust and balls of white flurries. Those cotton drifts are the only resemblance to snow some Southerners ever witness.

Slowly a new portrait painted,
Strokes of beauty everywhere.

This season’s changes, in Nebraska, are an amazing event. I feel like a child being painted into God‘s portrait of Fall. Everywhere I look there are beautiful, new brushstrokes.

Harvest has a whole new meaning here. There are a few cornhusk skirting around in cool winds as farmers bring in soybeans and corn. It is strange to notice very little dust and no flurries of cotton in the air.

Down the street, a friend has begun filling her front yard with pumpkins. Her family enjoys an annual harvest of their pumpkin patch. Her reward is a brilliant display in varieties of gourds and various sized pumpkins to the delight of the entire neighborhood.

There are gorgeous visions everywhere this Autumn in Nebraska. I have never experienced such beauty and I am in awe.

Past the window, leaves are falling
An ongoing color show.

Each and every morning for the past week I have been anxious to look out the window. The leaves are changing colors and falling everywhere. As I drive around town, there are piles of yellow, orange, red, and brown along the streets.

Yards are quickly becoming covered due to the colorful downfalls. I actually manage to laugh as neighbors attempt to ‘clean up their mess’. My ‘mess’ of color can stay for now. It is an awesome site.

Children play in piles of laughter.
Season whispers, hopes of snow.

Yesterday, in the school-yard, children were playing below a huge oak tree on a hillside. They were sliding in piles of color that continued to fall from the oak’s branches. Their laughter could be heard throughout the neighborhood.

When I picked up my boys from school, they were excited to relay the joy of that special event. It is a moment they will replay for several weeks. It is a memory they will recall for a lifetime.

As Autumn changes began, my husband informed the boys that there could actually be snow before this season ends. He has experience in Nebraska, so our boys look to him as an authority. Our home is buzzing each day with hopes of snow in Fall. I’m hoping that leaves keep falling for a while, rather than frozen precipitation.


Years of moments cascade forward.
Future thoughts will soon recall,

It is hard to fathom that in the future I could be looking back at this moment, so far from home, and appreciating memories. My bouts of homesickness were nearly unbearable before this week. Now, with seasonal changes all around, I am finding it hard to think of anything beyond God‘s changing portrait of Autumn.

I am also seeing how changes in my own life offer so much to be thankful for. My family is blossoming in our new environment. The boys have never been more content. My husband has a wonderful job he enjoys and I have time to enjoy the beauty of my surroundings.

Perhaps it has been God’s intention to allow me to burn with a temporary, summer heat of self-pity in order to bring a new season of personal change. I am beginning to acknowledge a greater appreciation for where God has placed me. My life is in His hands.

I am His child and He is painting a portrait. The portrait is not only in my surroundings. . . It is inside of me, with new and beautifully colored brushstrokes each day.

Summer ends as God’s hand gently
Brushes on the scenes of Fall.

©Fall2004, Teresa Lee Rainey



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Member Comments
Member Date
Rita Garcia 09 Nov 2004
Teresa, I especially enjoyed the way you ended this article. You are gifted as a writer. Blessings, Rita




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