A Meditation on the Coming of Autumn

The Rev. Josh Pawelek

O sing Hallelujah, for now is indeed a time for turning, a time of transition. Autumn comes this week. Summer vacation stretches out behind us; children are back in school. Here and there among the green leaves on branches of trees a sliver of gold, a spot of red, a dollop of brown. The final harvest of the year begins. Apples and pears have ripened for picking. Though there will be warm days and beautiful weather ahead—days like we’ve had this past week—the nights are cooler now; the breeze carries on its edge just a hint of late October’s bite.

Autumn in New England is so beautiful, and yet it carries on its edge a hint of sadness, a sense of loss, a reminder that our greatest joys are always woven fine with sorrow, a confirmation that life moves on whether we’re ready or not, that change comes for better or for worse, whether we’re ready or not, that we turn and turn and turn, ready or not. Where spring awakens us to new life blooming, to creativity, abundance and possibility, autumn speaks to us of pulling back, resting, reflecting. Autum has a way, if we let it, of filling our hearts with a yearning for what has been, a deep and wise nostalgia for younger, simpler days, a profund joy for the gift of life, yet also grief for all we’ve lost.

O Sing Halleluja friends, for now is indeed a time for turning, a time of transition. As themigrating flocks slowly head off on their time-honored southern routes, may we on this morning and throughout the coming autumn look back with fondness on who and where we’ve been, on all we’ve come through to be here now. As the leaves slowly begin to change from green to brilliant gold, orange and red, may we forgive ourselves for our mistakes and transgressions and accept them as reminders of our own humanity. And as the leaves begin to fall, may we grieve well for all we have lost. And in grieving well, may we prepare ourselves to receive the new life that is always emerging.

Amen and Blessed be.