Very truly, I say to you, unless a wheat grain falls into the earth and dies,
it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears abundant fruit. John 12:24
Have you heeded the beckon of the fall?
If you happen to live
along the northern curve of our planet,
you get to watch as we wobble into winter.
And with each autumn come lessons;
a harvest of graces
to color our lives and carpet the ground.
Let sky be glad. Let earth rejoice.
Let the seas and all that fills them roar.
Let the fields and everything within them exult.
Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy… Psalm 96:11-12
As trees turn to fire,
Nature announces her blazing revolution,
in showers ocher and orange gold.
If ever were offered three wishes—
as in the tales of children—
then my desire would be for autumn’s golden graces.
Three unexpected gateways to wholeness,
revealed in letting-go,
falling-down and giving-back.
What return shall I offer the Holy One
for all the goodness given to me? Psalm 116:12
If I could wish three graces for those I dearly love,
it would be these alone:
gratitude, tenderness and humility.
Fruit of wonder,
gratitude is gateway to joy,
turning lack, loss and letting-go into gilded gift.
Fruit of forgiveness,
tenderness opens the way to healing,
transfiguring pain into passion—love’s long shadow.
Fruit of failure,
humility is the low door to wisdom
growing us back down to earth.
Mirroring the setting sun,
these autumnal lessons are poured out
in resplendent hues, for us to pore over.
Like all presents, they come to life in the give-away.
For every golden gift withheld surely turns to lead
and weighs us down with worry or woe.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that they hold future promise…
We are prophets of a future not our own. Ken Untener
Perhaps there is a burden you are carrying.
Perhaps someone worries you.
Perhaps a situation weighs heavily upon you.
Welcome then, autumn’s invitation
to grow by smallness and surrender,
by putting down, by giving away, by letting go.
There is no happiness without thankfulness,
no healing without hurt,
no wisdom without diminishment.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not. T. S. Eliot
As this season slowly strips the landscape bare,
to surrounds us
in stark splendid death,
may we in thanksgiving
share the harvest,
and scatter the seeds of dreams to come.
And savoring the bounty of sunshine, showers,
soil and sweat, may you seed peace, sow forgiveness,
leave the leaves and let go!