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The days are slipping through my fingers just as leaves are slipping from the trees. 

The Magnolia in the back yard is making a terrible mess right now; its yellow nitrogen-deprived leaves are dropping like flies.  As I reach down to pick up the leaf litter scattered across the yard, I notice houseflies resting on the leaf’s shiny surface.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many houseflies, even at a summer picnic.  What do they know that we don’t?  Perhaps their presence is a harbinger of winter’s too early arrival.

My week is slipping away, with a piece of my day allotted here and there.  I am sad that I’ve no signficant blocks of time to devote to gardening and I’m in a mad rush to get my gardens put to bed and the duplex gardens next door completed before winter descends.  Like the piles of leaves and army of flies, I also sense that a winter freeze  is just around the corner.   And this makes me grieve the shortness of autumn.

Tomorrow I’ll attend my graduation ceremonies at the Oklahoma County Extension office, where I will officially be certified as a master gardener.  Like a true gardener, I joked with one of my fellow graduates that I’d rather be in the gardens than at the ceremony; yet, knowing the day is as much about our faithful trainers as it is about us who are graduating, I will go to eat, drink and be merry.  Then afterwards, I’ll rush back to the gardens for the afternoon.  If all goes well, all purchased plants will be installed; and with decent weather, the duplex gardens will be finished by week-end.

Another fly in the ointment to make my week so choppy is the spiritual writing I’ve been squeezing in to the open cracks of  my day.  After three months out of the saddle, I’ve picked up the loose threads of  this curriculum and Thursday night I’ll lead a small group of faithful women in the practice of centering prayer.  That I will be offering this lesson on centering prayer in a week where I am pulled in so many directions merely shows that God does have a great sense of humor.

But as I write, I sense a rightness and order in my world, even in winters that come too early and in graduations that mark a beginning of gardening knowledge rather than an ending and in teaching a lesson in centering prayer when I feel so off-center.

To God be the glory in all my days, especially when I slip off-center stage and reveal my broken humanity.