You know, I absolutely love the Autumn time of the year. Maybe I love it because I was born in this season. Maybe I love it because I long for the cooler, crisper weather. Maybe I love it because of the smells, the colors, the tastes. Whatever the reasons, I’m not sure I can nail them all down, it is one of my favorite times of the year.
Autumn is the harvest season, the time when crops are gathered in and fields begin to lay fallow. Autumn invariably reminds me we really are at our core, agrarian. We are people of the land. Yes, very few of us make our living from agrarian occupations, but we are dependent on those who do. Working the land, growing and harvesting, all of it supports all of us. There is something sacred in the harvesting ritual, where we take from the land, and then we let the land rest for a season.
Dirt is made up of organic material that has decomposed over time to form the basis out of which all things are grown. It is a true cycle of life. What was once living dies, then in turn it supports new life. I’m reminded that everything that ever was, still is. It is in a different form, serving a different purpose, but nothing that has ever existed, has ceased to exist.
I went to the nursery this week to get some new flowers for my balcony. Lovely Fall colors of yellow, orange and burgundy. I brought them home and re-potted them. I find there is something very satisfying about having my hands in the dirt. It feels good to turn it over, it feels good to pack it in, it feels good to water it. That dirt is made up of all the same stuff I’m made up of. Each of us are bits and pieces of dirt, or even star dust if you will. From the very beginning of time, what we are has always been. It has transformed time and time again, but it is still here. That means my ancestors, your ancestors, the people I have loved, the people you have loved are all still with us. They are a part of us, they live on in us. Of course their souls, their consciousness are part of the eternal with God, but still, part of them still rests in each of us.
We, you, me, all of us, are the remnants of what has been. The Autumn time of the year puts life in perspective for me, maybe that’s why I love it so. It is a time of completion. The cycle of life completing itself. Having lost someone I truly loved has brought me a new perspective on life and death, and our existence. We are a people of the dirt. We are composed of all that has ever been, and we will be part of whatever is in the future beyond us. We are told God made us, fashioned us, from the dust. There really is a depth of meaning in the creation story. We are to understand that from dust we were made, and to dust we will return. Its all there in the creation story, from death to life, from life to death. The harvest time, Autumn reminds me poignantly of this cycle and its comforting.
Its this time of year we generally sing, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.” That hymn calls to mind all the harvests of the past, when we brought in the produce to store up for the Winter ahead. We are reminded how God has provided all we have and are. From the very beginning of life, God brought us forth from the dirt, the dust, the stardust, to be God’s creation. And we have cycled through creation from that time forward. We are God’s harvest, God’s Autumn is a glorious time. I’ll close with the third stanza from the hymn…”For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take the harvest home; from the field shall in that day all offenses purge away, giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast; but the fruitful ears to store in the garner evermore.”
I pray this harvest, this Autumn, this Fall of the year, are a blessing to you as you count the many blessings God continues to harvest through you and me.
Blessings and Peace,