AUTUMN WISDOM FORM THE MONASTERY
:voices from The Circle of Life, Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkeht -----
"While many people dread the approaching winter season, often these same people claim autumn as their favorite season. Perhaps this says something about the haunting call of this season...Autumn touches the core of the soul with its wordless message about the necessity of transformation and death.
We are gently encouraged to look toward the west and embrace the bittersweet truth that all things are transitory. As we face the painful reality that nothing lasts forever, autumn teaches us humility. We learn to honor the dying. Everything is moving, flowing on into something new.
In this lovely season when the dance of surrender is obvious, we find large spaces left where something beautiful once lived. As one by one the leaves let go, a precious emptiness appears in the trees. The naked beauty of the branches can be seen, the birds' abandoned nests become visible.
The new spaces of emptiness reveal mountain ridges. At night if you stand beneath a tree and gaze upward, stars now peer through the branches. This is an important autumn lesson--when certain things fall away, there are other things that can be seen more clearly.
Autumn is a wondrous metaphor for the transformation that takes place in the human heart each season. We we notice a subtle change of light outside...we know the dark season is near...Autumn calls us in from summer's playground and asks significant questions about our own harvest: What do we need to gather into our spiritual barns? What in our lives needs to fall away like autumn leaves so another life waiting in the wings can have its turn to live?
...Autumn speaks of connection and yearning, wisdom and aging, transformation and surrender, emerging shadows, and most of all mystery. This is the season that touches our longing for home, for completion. We are invited to let go, to yield...yes, to die. We are encouraged to let things move in our lives. Let them flow on into some new life form just as the earth is modeling these changes for us."
I wonder: As some things fall away, what other things can I begin to see more clearly?
What in my life needs to fall away like autumn leaves so another life waiting in the wings can have its turn to live?
So, friends, as I look toward January, I look forward to winter...like Edna Buit who looked forward to the winter rest for the land, I too will begin a "dormant" season. Like Edna, I will wonder what new surprising life might emerge come spring, what flower will blossom that I had forgotten was planted. But until then, I will treasure Autumn, look forward to Winter rest, in hope for Spring.