The Strength of Wind and Water

My sneakers kicked a path through the walnuts and conkers. My feet cut through brittle leaves and marrow-less sticks, stirring up dry, airy echoes, which snapped or crumbled into the broken black earth.

Before dusk, my family went for a slow walk through the woods. From time to time, I snuck in a little deeper. I went ahead or off to the side.

To my left, I saw bare trees stand like shadows of stainless steel. Each one pressed gently into a cool, heavy block of October sun, which hung low in the sky. The sunlight sliced through the trees, as slightly sweet shavings of Comté.

I saw a black squirrel, who sat on a sharp edge, stop and savor a thin piece.

The Scots pine needles were soggy. The pods of honeylocust were limp. And the mushrooms were rotting. Still, I heard the strength of water move forward in the stream beside me.

The Canada geese understood the movement, making their communal transcriptions in broad V’s and W’s. They celebrated with the heavy honking which comes only after weddings. They enjoyed the leaving.

While the rest of autumn, here, slowly rotted into the dirt.

And then I found a milkweed pod. It hung there dry, brown and alone. I carried it back down the trail to show the kids. My wife pulled it apart.

We felt the soft, holy strings. And then a sudden jumping. Once everything had settled, my youngest was covered in silky white seeds.

And today I hadn’t even noticed there was a breeze. Until it took the shape of a soft blanket after a baptism.

I keep a constant need for this kind of rebirth, especially in seasons of falling. I need my Father’s Presence. I need to be sprinkled, poured over and pulled under by His water. He knows how to wash me with a million holy strings.

However they reach me, I am thankful for holy winds.

They move me forward with the strength of water.

16 thoughts on “The Strength of Wind and Water

  1. Your words are like a symphony! I’m so glad to have read this today! God Bless you as you share your creative gifts with us….such depth and such beauty in your writing!!!
    I think of what you said and realize “a sudden jumping”…like the life He gives; out of the dust comes a covering of “sliky white seeds”…like the cleansing of His grace sprinkled/ (no)/ showered upon us; “like a soft blanket” …covering us as white as snow and filling our hearts with his “holy strings” of beauty, mercy, grace, and music deep within our souls as we praise HIM! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m so glad God has crossed our paths in this unique way! Bless you for your love of the Lord.

    • Thanks for adding a fresh wind to the words of my post, Lorraine. His Grace covers us in so many ways. And you’re right: His music, as it plays out in our hearts, grows even more beautiful as we praise Him. Know that I am blessed to feel your joyful enthusiasm for His heart. Be very blessed and cozy under His blanket.

  2. I have, over the last few years, come to really enjoy walks in nature; preferably while alone. I think that’s why I really like this post, Matt. I felt as though I was with you on this short journey… because it made me think of so many of my own walks in which I noticed the many small details along the way.

    More please.

  3. Matthew,
    Wheet-woo. . .that was me whistling at the new design of your blog. Love the header, very fun.

    We were just out exploring our “woods” (aka the trees behind our house). This made me want to write about it.

    • What is it about walks? Ya. Sit down and write. Complete that exploration process.

      Glad you like the header. Lite Brite pegs can light up with a creative magic, too, like a good walk. Good to hear from you today, Amy. Now get writing!

  4. Lovely… just lovely. I felt like I was along the path with you. (Plus, I got to ‘test’ my knowledge of trees, too!) Just curious, is the blog your only “gig” or are you writing fiction as well? I agree with the others that descriptive writing is something God has put in your heart to help you share the beauty of His creation. Nice post.

    • Thank you. I’m so glad you could see His beauty along the path. At times, it can be difficult to find. Still, He finds us. Always. Because He is strong. And always moving.

      Barb, your comments blessed me today. He is moving. Is blogging my only “gig”? At the moment — yes. But I’m also listening and looking for that next trail. Again, thanks for stopping by and sharing. May you be blessed, too!

  5. “And today I hadn’t even noticed there was a breeze, Until it took the shape of a soft blanket after a baptism.” Such beautiful descriptions.Wow! I am amazed to see such talent! Beautiful! Keep writing. It is a gift of yours, from him, for us. Amen.

    • Thank you, Kathy. Very much. God plants beautiful visions for us to find along our trails. He plants them in our hearts, too. It says something beautiful about God that we can recognize fresh baptisms of grace, after seeing a three year-old get “drenched” in the soft white seeds of a crusty brown milkweed. He is Good.

    • Laura, that’s such a great metaphor. Really, we’re all walking together, aren’t we? As we go along, we see and point to different things. But all of us, together, are looking for Grace.

      We need to point. We need to talk. We need to share. I’m thankful, too, for your wisdom, vision, and God-drenched heart. So keep walking, friend. There’s grace to find — even before we make it around the next bend.

  6. Once again, you’ve done all that intricate interconnecting of your environment,your emotions, your needs, your searching eyes and the showers of grace that always come to those who seek and have eyes to see..

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