September came in softly, like a lovely girl with gentle manners; wearing her best dress woven from golden Autumnal sunlight; about her shoulders a soft cloak of green summer and ripe hedgerow fruit. This morning rain drops are caught in the spider webs, the first leaves have floated down and the sky has changed her blue dress for a grey one.
September, Autumn, so beloved by poets, writers, artists, photographers who can resist attempting to catch the spider’s artwork, the ripe fruits, misty hills, harvest moon and glittering night skies – catch it before it goes. This is the sadness of Autumn or fall as some know it. Autumn’s Muse tells us it can’t last. Nothing is forever. I am a person of simple words, I don’t write about serious concepts such as existential dread, I don’t want to dwell on the elusive sadness which Autumn can reveal in our hidden depths, but simply acknowledge that September is a “fey” month whose delicate finger points out to us changes to come.
No, there is that in myself which wants to celebrate Sukkot (the Fruit Harvest which Jewish friends will be celebrating this year between 18-25th September) and to give thanks for those good things which I have known in this year and throughout all the seasons of my life, for His kindnesses have been many and to ask that the fruits of the Spirit, the loving kindnesses of a life rooted in God may be ripening in own my life. Some, I know will be reflecting on their own lives at this time, what have they achieved what will, if they are a Christian like me, the Master have to say to them at that final Harvest Time. Will it be,
“You could have done better.”
or “I don’t know you at all”
There are those for whom there is no celebration of Harvest – for there has been none. As the churches celebrate Harvest Festivals we will be remembering those in need in prayer and giving, but for some of us the season’s Muse asks, “Should you not have been doing these things all year?”
There is another felt, but often unvoiced aspect of Autumn – instead of marking the end of summer and the end of good things, it can mark the beginning of a whole New Eternal Season in which we can all begin to be more generous, to take up our part in caring for the earth, its plants, its creatures and people.
Yes, rain, storm, hurricane, snow, ice, fire and earthquake are beyond our authority, mankind does not rule over these – but no one should face these things alone, indeed no one has to, when our help is just a prayer away. Let us rejoice in this season and begin to ask,
“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us.” (Psalm 67 v1)
and to sing,
“Praise awaits you, our God in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.” (Psalm 65 v1)
May all HIs blessings be yours!