September 21–the first day of autumn. As trees molt their leaves, as hostas and other flowering shrubs go to ground, as grass turns brittle and pale, as mosquitos go wherever it is they go (thank goodness!)…we are reminded of the vital role dormancy, rest, and death play in the cycle of life. In autumn, days shorten, vegetation rots, all nature begins its inward turn so that–from death– new life can emerge come spring.
Holy One, we confess that we don’t always enjoy the way things shut down in autumn–or any season of our spiritual lives. The riot of color that comes with spring, the full-on joy of playing in summer? Those are great! Spring and summer are easy to love. Even winter’s not so bad… everything looks dead then, but we know that Spring is just one season away. With autumn, though, we have to watch things die…and that’s not easy.
Here’s what we ask today, Holy One, give us the courage to look at our lives and–as honestly as we can–identify what is in the process of dying. Whatever that dying thing is, show us how new life will someday emerge from it. And give us the grace to be patient in our waiting for that new life.
We have other concerns to lift into your care today–concerns for ourselves, for our friends, for those who live in a perpetual winter with seemingly no hope of spring. In the quiet of this moment, we lift all our concerns into your care. (Silence.)