Have you noticed, those who live in areas with distinctive seasons that the light is shifting? The blooming flowers have changed from reds and pinks to a rich gold and deep, royal purple. If you are like me maybe your eyes are beginning to water a bit. The maples and dogwoods have been holding a secret for a few weeks but it is beginning to show…the bright red leaves that maple wears this time of year and the berries on the dogwoods, a last gift to the birds before winter, are starting to be visible.
I have a confession to make…the change of seasons always catches me by surprise – perhaps that says something about my simple way of thinking but it is true! I find myself every season looking around one day and saying,
“Oh, it is you autumn! Welcome! Welcome! It is almost your time. My how I have missed you. You can’t even begin to know how grateful I am to spend this season with you.”
Each season, I believe, has lessons to teach. The beauty is that even though the seasons come one after another, in their sequence, the lessons are never the same. Last year’s season calls to us from a different place. We are no longer present in that space…we have moved through and emerged different from before. Year after year I feel the changes deep within and I’m called to discover what God, through this seasonal shift wants me to grapple with, reflect on and hold close.
This year the lesson I keep coming back to is the thought there are some things that need to be let go of, to be released… to be allowed to fall!
The leaves are preparing to leave the past behind, to let go and give themselves to tomorrow’s growth. The garden that I lovingly nurtured in May is saying goodbye (as well as asking if I could weed her better next year). The mamma bird that fed at my feeder as she raised her babies, is remembering her nest and preparing to move on for a time.
There are lessons to explore there. As I look around this world we share, I think there are, in my mind, many things to leave behind. Destructive and hurtful postures such as intolerance, ingratitude and unkindness, to name a few. Language that tears down rather than lifting others up. Judgement that too often bruises another’s heart – sometimes irreparably. Habits and ways of interacting and engaging, individually and collectively that doesn’t come from a place of health and doesn’t lead to a place a healing.
Autumn says slow down, look inward and take a few moments to recognize that what was before you yesterday is being transformed. So, I plan to use this autumn to think about the things that I need let fall, to use them, good and bad, to nurture tomorrow’s growth through the lessons they have to teach. It is the pruning and discarding of habits and attitudes – those that aren’t reflective of our better natures, that is needed. Let’s open space and make room for more gratitude, more compassion…more love for one another. For the season of growth will be upon us as the earth makes it’s way around the sun. This season, where we are today, calls us to prepare.