“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted…”
In his book Small Creatures and Ordinary Places, Essays on Nature, Allen M. Young tries to show us the beauty of what lies in our own backyards through some of the smallest of God’s creatures...katydids, mice, bats etc... He also talks about the change of seasons in a way that echoes my theological attachment to the natural world. “In Autumn’s vibrant colors there are reminders of summer's fullness of life, of winter's impending bleakness, and of the prospect of spring not far beyond. Autumn compels us to think about life's transience and continuity all in one.” For many people, Autumn seems to be a time of brisk winds and vibrant colors on the trees all around us. People go north to New England to see the most stunning of foliage while others try to bring the outdoors inside - as Craig has done with the faux fall leaf garland adorning our fireplace and banisters. It is not a secret - Autumn is by far my most favorite season. The best part about a Delaware Autumn is that it lasts much, much longer than Chicago’s!
In all of its orange and red beauty, in all of its pumpkin spice lattes and butternut squash soups, Autumn does have a transitional feel. It occupies this place between two other places - like Jesus in last Sunday’s Gospel when he found himself between Samaria and Galilee. As the colors turn vibrant to brown and the days shorten and the nights grow longer - we are reminded of summer’s fullness of life. The fullness of the flowers and the sun, the longer days and the trips to the beach. Summer is packed full of life for so many and Autumn’s slowing down of the world reminds us of the pending bleak midwinter that is fast approaching. And while I look forward with great anticipation of the snows of winter...I also know that it will not be long that I also look towards the first crocus popping up from beneath the formally frozen ground.
For everything there is a season the Wisdom writer tells us in Ecclesiastes. And for every season there is something to do, and learn, and experience. God is present in these changes of season, constantly reminding us that the world moves forward. The past is part of who we are, in this case of seasons, the summer is past. The Autumn, the present, is just that. It is a present from God, given to us today to make the fullness of ourselves through the grace and love of God. And the future, though quickly coming, can wait until tomorrow. For today, though change is in the air, we have pumpkin spice, fall colors, and a brisk wind to help us connect to the present and to God all around us.
Yours in Christ,