This is such a beautiful time of year and how I long for it year after year. At last the hot days of summer are past and the biting cold dark days of midwinter have not yet arrived. Readiness though is in the air, and the trees themselves are making ready as they shed their leaves. Consider and imagine for a moment that you are one tree in the woods. What might it be that you are glad to shed, to let go, and to begin again? What needs to fall yet clings closely to you? Make ready in your own soul to harbor no more regrets, to bear no more grudges, to offer the other the benefit of the doubt. Imagine if you will how the earth could be carpeted if we would allow forgiveness to touch where we walk and touch those with whom we walk.
Ponder the poem by Malcolm Guite as he reflects on the beauty and the opportunity that autumn presents and with imagination what do the falling leaves from you disclose?
And is it not enough
And Is it not enough that every year
A richly laden autumn should unfold
And shimmer into being leaf by leaf,
It’s scattered ochres mirrored everywhere
In hints and glints of hidden red and gold
Threaded like memory through loss and grief,
When dusk descends, when branches are unveiled,
When roots reach deeper than our minds can feel
And ready us for winter with strange calm,
That I should see the inner tree revealed
And know its beauty as the bright leaves fall
And feel its truth within me as I am?
And Is it not enough that I should walk
Through low November mist along the bank,
When scents of woodsmoke summon, in some long
And melancholy undertone, the talk
Of those old poets from whose works I drank
The heady wine of an autumnal song?
It is not yet enough. So I must try,
In my poor turn, to help you see it too,
As though these leaves could be as rich as those,
That red and gold might glimmer in your eye,
That autumn might unfold again in you,
Feeling with me what falling leaves disclose. Malcolm Guite
This prayer is a Prayer of the Chippewa, and taken from
The Book of Common Worship, Presbyterian Church, PCUSA.
We pray that someday an arrow will be broken,
not in something or someone,
but by each of humankind,
to indicate peace, not violence.
someday, oneness with creation,
rather than dominion over creation,
will be the goal to be respected.
Someday fearlessness to love and make a difference
will be experienced by all people.
Then the eagle will carry our prayer for peace and love,
and the people of the red, white, yellow, brown,
and black communities
can sit in the same circle together to communicate in love
and experience the presence of the Great Mystery in their midst.
Someday can be today for you and me. Amen.