the acceleration upon us

The acceleration is upon us.
From Halloween to Thanksgiving
right into Advent through to Christmas
and New Year’s.
We’re in the year’s stretch
of class five rapids
and, if we’re not careful,
the current will sweep us away.

So (changing metaphors now),
remember how you drive down
a steep and winding mountain road—
how you navigate the steep decline
when everything—absolutely everything
is pulling you faster—faster.

You regularly—
you persistently—
tap the brakes.
You’re not trying to stop,
just to slow yourself down.

So be intentional,
through these days to come,
about tapping those brakes.

(And now from metaphor into the literal:)

savor that first sip of heat
sliding down the back of your throat
in the early morning’s chill—
through your chest into your stomach.
And it doesn’t matter if it’s hot tea, hot chocolate,
hot coffee. It could be hot water, I think,
particularly if it has some lemon and honey squeezed in.

Find the tree in your neighborhood,
or on your commute,
with the brightest reds,
and the one with the most vivid yellows
and the one with the most vibrant oranges,
and make sure you see them before they’re bare.

Find the faces of children to watch,
and lovers (especially the older ones).
Go out to eat with friends and don’t worry about the time.
Hit up a farmer’s market and eat honey-roasted root vegetables.
Decide what your flavors of the season are and enjoy:
apple butter? pumpkin butter? pumpkin pie? apple pie?
a la mode?
chili? vegetable soup?
Cook for people you love and don’t worry about the dishes.
Romp with a puppy.
Stomp through a puddle.
Sit by a fire.
Snuggle into the warmth of a quilt or a sweater or coat
that was put up for the summer and you’ve just had to go find.
Breathe in crisp air you can feel refreshing
all the way into your lungs,
breathe out stale.
Take in the rich colors of chrysanthemums,
the progression of various and changing decorations in
the windows, doors and yards of your community.
Be outside.

And thank God regularly
for the testament unfolding in and through your days—
the Scripture written large through your living—
the revelation of truth
that cannot ever be contained.

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