October 24, 2011Grandmother Harris referred to the autumn of the year as "the season of melancholy." She found the closing down of plants and flowers a portend of cold weather to come. She was not a fan of the cold. As night begins to creep in earlier and earlier, there is a certain change we are part of. Different rhythms. Different surroundings and a sense of hunkering down and remembering. Yesterday was one of those days for me. We sat next to chickens cooking in the smoker. Built a small fire in the outdoor fireplace chimney. (Thanks, Jeanette and Steve) Classic country music played from the iPod. We were in one of our two favorite places to be when the sun goes down - right in our own backyard. Country music has not always been my music of choice. Not that I am a high brow or anything, but I always seem to prefer classic rock or Gregorian Chant. But last night in the autumn twilight, the soulful twang had my foot tapping a two-step and my heart remembering home. Daddy loved country music. Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, and all the oldies singing of love and loss were part of his repertoire of choice. As we sat and listened to the music and the words - Hello, Darlin', D-I-V-O-R-C-E, I almost fell to pieces myself thinking of how often I would pick up the phone and call Daddy with some idea or thought, some simple sharing. The greatest revelation that came to me after the death of my parents was that I could not dial 746-6432 and hear their voice pick up with "hello." Not ever again. And yesterday I thought about what it would mean to have one more day with them. What would I share with them? Would I tell them about the years I spent in ministry as an Elder in the church? Would I brag all day about my children and the grandchildren they have not known? Would I tell them my successes and failures, hopes and heartaches? Or would we just sit in the setting sun with Eddie Arnold and Loretta Lynn singing us out of the day? The embrace of autumn that blankets us with leaves is like the love of the parents I was blessed to have. That must be why I love autumn. Music can take us beyond this ordinary day to a place golden and glowing in memory. It is a place that is warm against the cold of coming winter. It is the place where I truly know that life is eternal and that we are one with the communion of saints. 746-6432 is forever at my fingertips. All I am called to do is wait for the hello that is beyond mortality. And wondering "if heaven ain't a lot like Texas. . ."