I can’t believe that it is September already. This time of year always feels a little bit sad to me. Summer is winding down, the days are shorter and the nights are cooler, and my heart begins to feel restless again.

Summer is over, routines are back, and we say goodbye to the long sunny days that were July.

Part of me welcomes this transition. A time to get back to work, to finish the year well, to make sure goals are completed.

This time of year when the leaves just begin to change, and the sunsets feel even more piercing than before. The crickets interrupt the night with their chirping and we all know that winter will once again be here.

To be honest, this year I am ready for this. As I took a long drive this evening, windows open, heading into the sunset and the changes of fall beginning to erupt around me, I felt a longing in my heart. It’s been a hard year. I’m ok with the newness of bringing this year into its last season. I’m ok with moving on.

This season of fall is bittersweet. This year the changing leaves seem to resemble the feeling of my heart. But what I love about seasons, is that there is always newness around the corner.

Last Saturday I woke up to the news that I was an auntie again. I could hardly contain my joy! I hopped into my car and sped down the highway to Chambersburg. There at the hospital was my sweet sweet niece, Elisa Claire. As I held her in my arms, my heart broke. There she was with her perfect little mouth, and eyes, and fingers and toes. Another miracle.

My heart has been swelling with joy all week as I think of the life she will live. And it made so much sense to me as I looked down in my arms, Elise sleeping so sweetly and I thought of the life she had ahead of her. Of the amazing thing she will accomplish and of the great potential she has. And it made me so badly just want to live!

It’s been awhile since I saw new life. As a nurse working in oncology I am confronted with end of life on a weekly basis. And sometimes, like this past week, sometimes it really hurts. My heart has broken quite a few times this year, of hard things seen in Tanzania, losses in our family, and the everyday situations I deal with at work. But Elise Claire brought it full circle. A new life of beauty. A new day to live fully. Loss and life and love.

And outside as the leaves change and as my heart feels restless, there is a new tiny baby just down the road. A new miracle just starting life. And in the bitter moments of life there she is, pure sweetness and joy.

Elise Claire, thank you for waking up my heart to love and to live again. Thank you for reminding me of the newness and beauty of life. This is just the beginning of the lives you will touch and the impact you will have on the world.

As the summer winds down, a new life appears.  The days are shorter, the nights are cooler, the leaves begin to change and life comes full circle again.

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