I have many more trees surrounding me here in Erie as compared to life back in Philadelphia, so it has been easier to pay attention to the changing colors. Monastics are called to conversatio morum, or conversion of life. Monastics recognize that each day is a new start, an opportunity to do better than yesterday. We are called to change and to grow. Trees are nature's way of reminding me of this call.
As my first class on monastic values has ended, I have started a class about the Liturgy of the Hours. We took some time to do lectio reading with parts of the Rule of Benedict relating to prayer. Often times, Benedict adjusts prayer according to the season. As I commented on living with the natural cycle of the earth, we began discussing the fact that we do not do that in today's world. We continued on to talk about how we might grow in mindfulness if we were to live by the seasons. Someone commented, "We'd learn to wait."
Wow - this comment gave me pause to reflect. If we actually waited to eat lettuce until spring or strawberries until summer or apples until fall, we might learn to wait; we might learn to be patient as trees, or flowers, or seeds waiting to germinate. We might learn to live in harmony with our earth.
Maybe as I am watching these trees turning, I, too, am beginning to turn a bit. Maybe I am changing and growing into someone more whole, more able to listen to God's call deep within.
Let us walk in the holy presence.