It seems as though autumn arrived with a vengeance in Seattle over the weekend. The rains came, the temperature dropped and leaves now look more red and gold than green. I know Saturday was the equinox, that day when the sun hovers briefly over the Equator giving us an equal time of night and day no matter where we are in the world. This transition time is a busy season with much to ponder as we navigate the transitions, here in the North to autumn and in the Southern Hemisphere to spring.
Here in Seattle, we have officially moved into autumn, this season of letting go, of harvest, but also of planting and sending down roots. Did you know that we like to plant shrubs in the autumn because then their roots have time to grow down deep over the winter? Autumn is the season when God scatters seed, abundantly, generously, and almost indiscriminately, allowing it to burrow into the ground for a winter’s rest before it germinates and grows in the spring. I love this juxtaposition. Even as we let go of what is dying we plant the seeds that give us hope for the future and send down the roots that will sustain us through coming seasons of dryness and struggle.
I feel my Meditation Monday: Made in the Image, Growing into the Likeness of God is very appropriate for this transition season. Writing it was a little like taking a spiritual audit as I asked myself “What does it mean for me to grow into the likeness of God?” As I focus on the changes that autumn brings I also find myself asking “What do I need to let go of, what do I need to harvest and what do I need to plant in order to continue growing into the likeness of God?” I stand on our back step, take a few deep breaths in and out savor the fragrance of the rain, and ponder these questions.
I love reading the daily posts on Godspacelight. They often provide an invitation to go deeper into God each day. Karen Wilk’s beautiful poem Fire provides much food for thought and reflection as she weaves together both the comforting, arm aspects of fire and its destructive and violent potential. In Freerange Friday: A Gift From The Beginning, guest writer Anya Almgren talks about Godly Play and the creation story. I spent a lot of time reflecting on her quote from Jerome W. Berryman “What is the biggest gift you have ever received? Did you know that there are some presents so big that nobody notices them? They are so huge that they are hard to see. They are so hard to see that the only way to know that they are there is to go clear back to the beginning, or maybe a little before the beginning.” Alex Tang in Eternal Echoes, talks about forgetfulness and the spiritual discipline of spiritual recollection. As he comments: Perhaps this “gift of forgetfulness” is a divine reminder of our utter dependence on God. It’s a humbling realization, prompting us to lean not on our own understanding but to seek God continually. Last Wednesday, encouraged by my own recounting of the abundance with which God has blessed us in the garden, I wrote a second article for the week Seven Ideas for Coping With Abundance . Surprisingly abundance is often more challenging to cope with than scarcity maybe partly because it calls us beyond individuality to community.
The Godspacelight blog is not the only place where you can interact with the Godspace writing community and find nurture for your soul. In the Godspacelight Community group on Facebook. I often post additional articles of interest I read during the week, June Friesen writes a daily reflection, Alex Tang contributes regularly from his substack account, Bob Tribe writes weekly book reviews and Judith Greenfield contributes beautiful contemplative posts from St Martin In The Field. If you are not already a part of this group, I heartily recommend that you join it.
In the upcoming weeks, there are lots of important celebrations to make sure you have on your calendars, not the least of these being our celebration of St Francis of Assisi and the Blessing of the Animals that often accompanies this occasion. Halloween and All Saints Day may be a little further away but it is certainly time to consider some responsible and creative ways to approach these. Check out Resources for a Green, Fair Trade, and Ethical Halloween and Getting Ready for All Saints Day. And let us know if you have other suggestions for these celebrations.
Another important event coming up in the next few weeks is our Season of Gratitude retreat on October 14th. Gratitude is an incredibly important spiritual practice yet it is one that most of us neglect. What could we transform from unpleasant to enjoyable by a change in attitude? How do we approach the world with gratitude and delight at all times? How do we find joy in the midst of the most challenging situations? These are some of the questions we grapple with as we look ahead to the changing seasons. This promises to be an exciting and fun time of reflection, creativity, and discussion. I hope you will join us. https://godspacelight.com/event/a-season-of-gratitude-virtual-retreat/
The seasons are changing,
The dark of winter approaches.
I love the light and its summer brightness,
It illuminates my path in a chaotic world.
But I willingly embrace the dark,
For it shows me the stars and the moon.
It grows my roots,
Deep into the soil,
Anchoring my life.
New insights, new awareness,
In the midst of the struggle,
Resistance and turmoil give way,
To the spirit of life.
Join Christine Sine on October 14 or watch the recording later. October and November, the season between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving, is the gratitude season on Godspacelight. Christine Sine will encourage you to enter into the practice of gratitude in this interactive retreat that will help us enter this season of gratitude with joy and delight in our hearts.