Life and Growth...

An Essay By Jenny // 12/15/2011


Life and Growth…

The cold bites my cheeks… the wind, like knives of air, cuts through to my skin… the sun is bright – shining golden on the field of Christmas trees we’re surrounded by – warming the churned up frozen ground. In the distance, Mt. Hood, stands rising out of its neighboring foothills. I’ve grown up in the shadow of This Mountain… always felt its presence as “home”. Feeling its constancy is comforting… the same kind of comfort that I get when I see the moon, or the river, or an old-growth tree. It’s that solidity of presence you know when something has been around much longer than you have, and will continue to exist long after you’re gone. Sometimes there’s great comfort in the realization that my life really is a vapor… my breath, my moments, really are fleeting. The Mountain sits on the horizon in all its strength and constancy – wrapped in a new robe of white for winter. I can feel its presence standing guard as we go about our “Christmas Tree shopping”. :)

In our little corner of the world, getting a Christmas Tree involves driving a small distance to one of the many neighboring Christmas Tree Farmers, leaving $10.00 in a box on the front step, and going out to the fields to pick out your tree. This year, on The Professor’s birthday, we’re spending the day at Grandma’s house, and have the opportunity to go out with Papa to pick the tree for the living room. There are many trees, skimpy ones, full ones, stout ones, narrow ones… there’s the “perfect” tree for everyone somewhere… it just takes a bit to find it sometimes – usually just long enough for body parts to begin to go numb. :) We decide on the tree, and retreat to the car to warm fingers and noses, while The Professor helps Papa tie the tree to the top of the vehicle. Even though we don’t have to go far, Papa tells The Professor that the tree has to be tied on “just right”. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be to have to go all the way back to the city with a tree strapped to the top of a car… I’m glad The Professor is learning how to do it “right”… who knows where the future will take him.

Watching him from inside the vehicle… I am in awe. I can’t believe how tall he’s grown, how hard he willingly works… I can’t believe how far he’s come… most of all – I am in awe at how quickly the years have passed. Fourteen full rides around the sun… and looking at him I’m looking at the power of time… how all those moments have added up and grown a young man. This young man is different from everyone else – unique, just as each of us are. He is kind, creative, intelligent, hard-working, honest… he is what many of us wish we could be. In many ways autism has taken his strengths and fortified them, and while it has helped shape who he is, it has not defined him… perhaps because we never allowed it to. The weaknesses he struggles with echo everyone else’s – with more intensity… for him, all of life is just “more”. His moments hold so much more – so much most of us just take for granted – but for him it’s just life… it’s all he knows. His experience of the world is as unique as he is — just like everyone else’s.

It really is an amazing thing to be given the gift of life – this one-of-a-kind experience of growth and change. We all begin so small – like the tiny new one I was holding yesterday at a dear friend’s house – and yet, we’re all so different. Every life is this unbelievable blend of genes, passed down from couple to child, to couple to child… throughout ages and ages of time… genes traveling countless journeys around the sun, across miles of the globe as couples meet and love, and move – as family lines weave and blend together. There is so much beauty in this journey – so many lives lived and loved… Souls created and born, lives shared, deaths as unique as births – all spinning together on this orb in the vastness of space… so woven together that each life is entwined in a real way with every other.

Our human nature inexplicably connects us all… and this time of year we’re remembering how Christ Himself came to partake of this same human nature – He entered into this crazy spinning world… gazed in awe at this same moon as a toddler, tried to count the stars as a child that He had created before time began. He took on the genes we share… bore a phenotype uniquely his own, just like we all do. We call this the Incarnation… God becoming man – 100% God, 100% Man – but words cannot really describe such a reality. The One who is The Word, learned the languages of His culture… played toddler games with His Mother… knew the gift of a mother’s love. He Who created the beauty of fractals, learned His lessons as a child – like all children do. As the planet journeyed around the sun, He grew – just like we all do. Thirty-three times he traveled that journey… this God-Man who loved His creation so much, He had to become the revelation of Himself to them… had to make a way for Communion. The God of Creation became a partaker of our nature – so that we could partake of His. It is too terrible, too awesome, for the imagination… it is a reality only God Himself could think of… to make a way for each unique life He creates on this spinning orb to know real union with Him… a way for us to become Holy as He is Holy… to grow from glory to Glory.

How can I even desire such growth – such union? Me… this tiny one… smaller than all these souls who have come before me, or who walk this earth with me now… Can I really live this Way He provides? Only by His Grace… His Mercy… His Love poured out in so many ways.



Welcome back to Apricotpie!

I remember when I first joined this site in 2007 reading in your first post about your son... it's great to have you writing here again, and great to read about your son growing up.  I missed when you posted this or I would have commented over three months ago!  I hope you will keep contributing your thoughts to this site.
Also, I didn't realize you live in/around the Willamette Valley.  Counting Tamerah, that makes three of us monthly writers.

James | Wed, 04/04/2012

"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle


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