If autumn didn't give way to winter, it might be my favorite season. I resurrect my scarf collection in its fullness...while still wearing sandals; crisp apples are available; you can go for runs in the afternoon more comfortably; and, of course, trees.

What is to come...

The trees give us quite the display before they let go and surrender to the changing seasons. Yesterday as I sat outside, it was impossible to not feel the strong winds, which we've had with us for a few days now. I also noticed that the leaves were still holding strong to their branches in those winds; there is still a bit of dying-to-self to do before they are ready to fall to the ground.

As someone who experiences God in a big way through nature, it feels appropriate to transition into the novitiate as we transition into the season of autumn. Surely God will teach me many essential lessons as I receive the gift of more time to spend experiencing nature.

So, we bless the season (and the transition) with the words of Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr:

An Autumn Blessing

Blessed are you, autumn,
chalice of transformation,
you lift a cup of death to our lips
and we taste new life.

Blessed are you, autumn,
season of the heart's yearning,
you usher us into places of mystery
and, like the leaves, we fall trustingly
into eternal, unseen hands.

Blessed are you, autumn,
with your flair for drama
you call to the poet in our hearts,
"return to the earth, become good soil;
wait for new seeds."

Blessed are you, autumn,
you turn our faces toward the west.
Prayerfully reflecting on life's transitory nature
we sense all things moving toward life-giving death.

Blessed are you, autumn,
you draw us away from summer's hot breath.
As your air becomes frosty and cool
you lead us to inner reflection.

Blessed are you, autumn,
season of so much bounty.
You invite us to imitate your generosity
in giving freely from the goodness of our lives,
holding nothing back.

Blessed are you, autumn,
your harvesting time has come.
As we gather your riches into our barns,
reveal to us our own inner riches
waiting to be harvested.

Blessed are you, autumn,
season of surrender,
you teach us the wisdom of letting go
and you draw us into new ways of living.

Blessed are you, autumn,
season of unpredictability.
You inspire us to be flexible
to learn from our shifting moods.

Blessed are you, autumn,
feast of thanksgiving.
You change our hearts into fountains of gratitude
as we receive your gracious gifts.

Let us walk in the holy presence.

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