I went for a run this morning, to celebrate the temporary return of the morning light. It was a cool, clear, typical Autumnal morning, and I had to run across many leaf-strewn passages. There are some very beautiful trees peeking up over the back fence, fiery red and bright gold. I know their seasonal fashion show will be short lived, so I will enjoy them until the next heavy rain.
And rain… yes, the rain has returned! The wonder of living in this climate is the eventually tiresome sameness of the summers. After this past unusually cool and gray summer, we cherished every last sunny afternoon of the late heat wave — the so called “Indian Summer.” But eventually the light begins to slant in a new angle, and the air starts to cool, and thoughts turn to nesting. A time for quiet introspection and repair work, to pull the blanket of family and dear friends a little closer, and rest in the comfort and security.
I am reminded of a book I read about a French mountain community and how the summers were short and filled with frenetic activity — planting, grazing, traveling between villages — but when the winter came, they spent the dark evenings in the communal sitting room sharing stories, repairing summer tools, and staying warm and connected around the fire.
I know this isn’t practical in our modern lives. But some reconnection to the changing seasons is important. To me, autumn is a time to regroup. In a way, because I’m still in school, it is a time of new beginnings, new friends, new ideas.
Prayer for Autumn Days
Sr. Joyce Rupp, OSM
God of the seasons, there is a time for everything; there is a time for dying and a time for rising. We need courage to enter into the transformation process.
God of autumn, the trees are saying goodbye to their green, letting go of what has been. We, too, have our moments of surrender, with all their insecurity and risk. Help us to let go when we need to do so.
God of fallen leaves lying in colored patterns on the ground, our lives have their own patterns. As we see the patterns of our own growth, may we learn from them.
God of misty days and harvest moon nights, there is always the dimension of mystery and wonder in our lives. We always need to recognize your power-filled presence. May we gain strength from this.
God of harvest wagons and fields of ripened grain, many gifts of growth lie within the season of our surrender. We must wait for harvest in faith and hope. Grant us patience when we do not see the blessings.
God of geese going south for another season, your wisdom enables us to know what needs to be left behind and what needs to be carried into the future. We yearn for insight and vision.
God of flowers touched with frost and windows wearing white designs, may your love keep our hearts from growing cold in the empty seasons.
God of life, you believe in us, you enrich us, you entrust us with the freedom to choose life. For all this, we are grateful.