12th October 2020

Autumn leaves

Do you like autumn? Crunching through leaves; misty mornings when the trees almost glow in their golds and reds; the wonder of a shiny conker, freshly set free from its spiny covering? Or does autumn make you think ahead to short, cold, grey days and a long, long wait until spring? A dread of what winter might bring is being expressed more publicly this year… will Christmas be ‘cancelled’? How will we be able to see friends and families? Painful questions.

A meditation from Kathy Galloway, former leader of the Iona Community, seems more pertinent than ever somehow. There’s an acknowledgement of both beauty and sadness in autumn:

“And the sadness is also for the darkness in my soul. There is so much I cannot control, have the way I want it to be, that it feels like many little deaths.

“And yet, God is kind. In hidden-ness and darkness, the seeds of new life are taking root…

“Growth is painful, stretching, unfamiliar. But God is kind…

“I look at my own hand. It is closed, still clutching for what is gone. But I cannot scatter seed with a clenched fist. I open my hand. I let go of all I am holding that needs to die. It hurts to let it go. But I can sow new seeds…

“I want to sow well, with care. Seeds of friendship and respect, of justice, and encouragement, and love.

For the rest, I trust, and I let go”.

These words help me focus on what I can do, rather than the things I have no control over; they present fresh challenge and hope.

Ruth Allen