For a writers class at school, we were asked to write about ‘living in Redding’, especially in light of attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in this city. I chose for my favorite writing style; a poetic description of a moment or environment with a double layer which gives the story a deeper meaning. It’s my experience of first year BSSM in 500 words, but hidden under carefully crafted sentences. I invite you to experience Redding, my home for this season.
I place my feet on the fading leaves.
The branches had to let them go. The leaves became too heavy for the tired trees.
A symphony of fiery colors are introducing the death of what once was full of green life. Nature is bleeding in bright red and it takes my heart along.
I have laid down the leaves of my old patterns at the doorstep of Redding. The smell of burning wood of the forest fires explained it to me as soon as I arrived. Old would be done away with. Just like the trees, what was meant for protection in previous seasons can be a barrier for the next.
I turn my face to the cloudy sky.
It’s thickened by water, ready to fall. These clouds will release themselves in fluid drops that drench me, cleanse me and fill me to overflow. Other clouds will release themselves in frozen flakes that will mark my skin in intricately shaped patterns. The color of white used to only touch the top of the highest mountains at the horizon, but in this season White is increasing and wrapping all of the mountains in her might.
The breath of heaven has swept away every trace of human paradigms about Life. The earth is left uncovered. But dying has never looked so beautiful. The emptiness of naked nature is leaving more space for the sky to be shown.
I shiver and reach for a warmth that wraps around me. Friends have become family and their embraces surround me in this city that starts to feel like home. Supported by little lights and Christmas music, the fire of intimate relationships is what I hold onto now. Winters never last long here, they said. The same cold that pierces through my skin and shapes my bones is what refreshes me to the core. A white blanket will come to protect the ground my roots are growing deeper into. I let it happen, for a tree can only be as big as its roots.
I reach my hands to the blooming branches. Tender outbursts of new life are forming in soft colors. It might be just blossom for some, but for me it’s more beautiful than any fruit I’ve ever seen. The air is filled with the fragrance of spring and birds sing the lullaby of the season. The Californian sun is reawakened and leaves the city in beaming light. It reignites the spirit of its people. Curtains are opened and walls no longer need to protect the warmth of a home. Outside is the new inside.
A fresh breeze strikes against my cheek, it wants to kiss the place that allowed many tears to stream over. It’s that soft rain of salted water that have allowed Life to be born. It’s a gentle gesture of a fragile start, but strength is increasing in the celebration of small beginnings. The branches have never been so pregnant with promises ever before.