Autumn Reflections on the Season

(adapted from www.SpiritualityandPractice.com article by Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat: http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/days/features.php?id=10950)

The autumn equinox marks the arrival of the season of fall, traditionally seen as a period of changes leading to the dark of winter. Here are three suggestions for spiritual lessons suggested by the coming of autumn.

1. BALANCING DARKNESS WITH LIGHT

On the autumn equinox, day and night are of equal length. This signals the need to balance light and darkness within us. Far too often, we fear the dark and adore only the light. Joyce Rupp, a Catholic writer and poet, challenges us in Little Pieces of Light to befriend our inner darkness: "I gratefully acknowledge how darkness has become less of an enemy for me and more of a place of silent nurturance, where the slow, steady gestation needed for my soul's growth can occur. Not only is light a welcomed part of my life, but I am also developing a greater understanding of how much I need to befriend my inner darkness."

2. LETTING GO

As we watch leaves fluttering to the ground in the fall, we are reminded that nature's cycles are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a time for letting go and releasing things that have been a burden. Fall is the right time to practice getting out of the way and letting the Spirit take charge of our lives.

3. ACKNOWLEDGING IMPERMANENCE

Autumn reminds us of the impermanence of everything. We have experienced the budding of life in spring and the flowerings and profusions of summer. Now the leaves fall and bare branches remind us of the fleeting nature of all things. Jewish rabbi and writer Harold Kushner in The Lord Is My Shepherd suggests that when we contemplate fall's changes, we grow more appreciative of all the beauties that surround us: "The poet Wallace Stevens once wrote, 'Death is the mother of beauty.' What those words say to me is that we cherish the beauty of a sunrise, of a New England autumn, of a relationship, of a child's hug, precisely because those things will not be around forever and neither will we be around to enjoy them."

Vikki Luce


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