Friday, March 7, 2014

October skies surprise

By Susan G Parcheta

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows. ~ St. Francis of Assisi
Golden sassafras glows, inspiring memories

Leaves of scarlet, gold, vermilion drift down from sun-glazed maples and sassafras.  Gratitude fills my heart for this annual show of wonder.

October skies surprise sometimes. Shimmering, soft columns of late afternoon light filter beams of memories of last year’s autumn days.  Like a scampering squirrel darting through life, I gather them up to tuck safely away like the acorns that plop, bounce and tumble pell-mell into the garage from tall oaks nearby.

I hear the acorns drop.  Walking to the mailbox on this October day, I’m reminded.  I’ve been here before – on an ordinary day that turned into extraordinary, by the mere act of getting the mail.  Smiling, I glance across the road to the neighbor’s drive. I can still see her there, the tawny-striped kitten that sweetly meowed, looking straight at me, as if she owned my heart. Somehow, I knew she and I would share a journey.

I’ve heard of close encounters of the angelic kind, never imagining it could happen to me.

Last October, I tuned in to a calling that I hadn’t expected.  Always, I’ve loved the stories of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. October 4 is the Feast Day for St. Francis in the tradition of the Catholic Church.  While I’m of protestant upbringing, I’ve a great reverence for the saints among us.

The life of St. Francis is exemplary in his passion for all things beautiful, for Nature and all God’s creatures. The Prayer of St. Francis is one of humanity’s favorites; and truly he was one of the great luminaries of all time.

A year ago in October, I tuned in more than ever to the heart of St. Francis, as I found myself nurturing back to health – or so I thought – this brave stray kitten who’d adopted us.  Her ginger personality matched her gold and creamy stripes.

October skies surprise me with memories, of a tiny kitten with a giant heart of gold…