We are celebrating the beauty of Autumn these days. Even the word, Autumn, is beautiful. It comes from Latin and means “the end of summer” or “harvest.” I live in a place where the season is full of vibrant color as the leaves on thousands of trees change, the grass turns to shades of greyish-green and brown, and the skies become painted with blazing sunset colors earlier and earlier each evening.
It is a wonderful time to walk through our neighborhoods and take note of the ways that the seasonal change is moving us away from the long days of summer toward the short days of winter. The beauty of God’s creation is on display as it folds into a peaceful sleepiness of bare trees and fallow fields.
The season is also the time of gathering the bounty of the summer, to harvest our crops. My family grew a garden this summer for the first time. The tiny seeds that we planted inside during the first weeks of the pandemic moved outside in the late spring and grew into an almost overwhelming jungle of vegetables and flowers. We learned a lot about reading the seed packets about the size and spacing of plants so that, as they take root and flourish, they have enough space to reach out with their new branches and buds. We are gathering the final few tomatoes and cucumbers and remembering all the time and care we gave to their growth.
In the middle of a time of great worry and crisis, there has been sunshine and rain. There has been care and love. There has been new growth and a harvest of unexpected bounty. In God’s creation we find peace and rhythm. The harvest, the Autumn, always arrives. And we remember that we, too, are part of God’s great creation and are being nurtured and loved, cared for and encouraged to flourish, even when the life we once knew has changed and shifted in ways we never imagined.
Dear God, we praise you for creating the world. We thank you that we are part of that creation. We see, hear, smell, touch, and taste the wonders of nature. Thank you for giving us the beauty that surrounds us today and always. Amen.