Last week we had a lot of blustery rainy days which blew most of the leaves off the trees. There are just a few determined leaves hanging on. It is looking very November-ish now with bare trees and gray skies. Even though it’s not as colorful, there is still beauty. Without the leaves hindering our view, we are able to see more of the horizon, which means that we will be able to see sunrises, sunsets, the moon rise, and the Northern Lights.
This morning Danny wanted outside shortly after I woke up, so I was able to see the sun peeking through the bare trees. As soon as the sun was able to rise above our eastern hill, it shone on the carpet of leaves and lit up the forest with a golden light. It was very beautiful but impossible to capture with a camera. Photographs just don’t allow you to see deep into the forest or the beauty of the shadows cast by the trees.
Photographs also cannot capture the beautiful fragrance of the trees. Sometimes as we have driven through miles of forest, EJ and I have rolled down our windows and stuck out our heads to breath in the forest fragrances. Other times we have walked in our Enchanted Forest and breathed deeply: Ahhhhhh!
Saturday night we moved our clocks back an hour. I really hate the time change because I don’t see much sense in it, I hate having to adjust to a new time, and I hate that it gets darker an hour earlier. It is so very, very black in the Enchanted Forest that when I look out my window, I see nothing but blackness. Having the dark arrive an hour earlier is not enjoyable (especially since the giant spiders come out at night). We are actually planning to buy full spectrum lights for our living room lamps, which mimic the light of the sun and help prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is caused by reduced sunlight during winter.
The really good thing about having darkness come early is that we will see the night sky earlier. Tonight a very strong geomagnetic storm is forecast to hit the earth which means that the changes of seeing the Northern Lights are very strong. I’m really excited and I’m hoping the clouds will clear so we can see the sky. I keep checking the Aurora sites to see how strong the geomagnetic activity levels are. I have two sites that I go to.
This morning I got a call from the ophthalmologist’s office that my new glasses had arrived! Yay! EJ and JJ were both sleeping, so I left them a note and drove into the town that we have nicknamed Eureka. I always love the drives to and from various places because they are so beautiful. Whenever I go anywhere, I am thankful that we actually live in such a beautifully awesome place. I really like my new glasses. I don’t know how well it shows up in the photo, but they are a pretty dark coppery color.
Sunday EJ and I did a few winterizing activities: We cleared out the old nests from the birdhouses and put up the last of the birdhouses that we brought from the old house. We also moved the park benches and lawn chairs into the garage for winter storage. EJ went down into the crawl space to make sure everything was good and he also checked the furnace filter. Well, we actually don’t have a regular furnace, we have a geothermal heat pump, which somehow brings up hot (or cool) air from the earth to heat (or cool) the house. It’s expensive to install but very energy efficient and cheap to run. EJ has always wanted to have one, and this house came with it! Anyway, I don’t understand it all, but even though it’s not like a regular furnace, it has a filter. EJ said it was a very good filter so we won’t need to replace it yet.
EJ had told me that “we” needed to go check out the crawl space, but I replied “What do you mean WE? I’m not going down there, no way.” I watched him climb down into the crawl space with apprehension. Would he find Giant spiders? Snakes? Rats? Goblins? But he actually said that it was very nice down there.
JJ has been working on enrolling in the local college and last week he got an acceptance letter. I think he is planning to take some classes next semester. He wants to be a writer. When we still lived downstate, JJ took a writing class through the community education program at a local school. He was disappointed that he was the only student in the class but the teacher, who was a journalist and a writer, was so impressed by his talent that she kept meeting with him…for free! At his last class before moving north, she gave him a card telling him that she thought he was an awesome writer and to keep writing.
JJ came home from work last night really excited. He is a cashier at a retail store and two people he waited on told him that they were impressed by him and would like him to work for them. One was the owner of a landscape business and the other was a woman from a bank–I’m not sure of her position but I would assume she had some say in who gets hired. He has had job offers from others he has waited on as well in previous months. This morning he applied on-line at the bank and plans to stop in at the landscape company on his next day off.
JJ told me last week that he feels that his life is really going somewhere now, which he didn’t feel when we lived downstate. I’m so happy that my guys are both so happy up here.
I loved Halloween this year…because for the first time ever I live in a place where we don’t have hundreds of trick-or-treaters walking through our neighborhood. I remember how fun it was as a child to dress up and go door-to-door for free candy, but when I became an adult and understood where the Halloween traditions came from, I grew to dislike it. Halloween had its roots in druid beliefs. In fact, most pagan celebrations, including “harvest” celebrations, were directly connected to the worship of idols. Even secular people today understand that Halloween is connected with demons, witches, darkness, and death. Just look at the type of movies shown at this time of year. I often wonder what people who think we can “redeem” a pagan holiday think the verses mean that say we are to “not do as the pagans do,” or “come out from among them and be separate,” or “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness.” What makes Halloween so special that we feel we must cling to it? I believe that G-d never endorses mixing a pagan holiday in with worship of Him. As 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 asks:
What fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between the Messiah and B’liya‘al? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement can there be between the temple of God and idols? (Complete Jewish Bible)
I do not believe we can redeem a pagan holiday. However, I am not really here to debate the issue of Halloween. I am just presenting some thoughts to consider. I know that Halloween is a controversial topic and no one is going to change unless they are convinced that it’s necessary–so ultimately it’s an issue between a person and G-d. As much as I try to pursue and live truth, I think that in the world to come, I will find that many things I believed were in error–because who of us understands all truth perfectly? Certainly not me. I think that all those who love G-d are on a journey from what we were to what we will become, from old beliefs to new ones, from error to truth, from darkness to light. It’s not an easy journey and it’s often a struggle–and takes time–to sort through beliefs, traditions, and ways of living.
I am sadden not by people who struggle to change and grow, but by those who refuse to even consider that maybe they might be wrong in some of their beliefs or who refuse to honestly search whether or not what they believe is actually truth. I think that we should be willing to honestly seek the truth and to let go of any beliefs or traditions–no matter how cherished–that are not truth. I’m saddened by how many people defend their beliefs without honestly searching out what G-d actually says. I’ve had several Christians tell me when shown Scripture that contradicted their beliefs that, “Even though the Bible says that…” or “Even though Jesus said that….” “I still believe that….” And I think, “Did you just hear what you just said?” You claim to obey the Bible and yet whether or not the Bible supports what you believe, you say you are still going to believe what you choose to believe. It is illogical.
Some things just don’t make sense to me. I just don’t get it. I’m just very glad that my October 31st was very quiet this year.