I love the autumn season. I wait and wait for it to arrive and suddenly it breaks open in a wide variety of beautiful colors. The huge oaks are adorned in majesty; the littlest of bushes pipe up, saying, “Hey look at me!” There are all sorts of trees wearing different styles and patterns. Pay attention to the detail! Do NOT miss the splendor of this season. What kind of world would it be without this breathtaking diversity? Stunning, isn’t it? Oh, it is beautiful outside! It is easy to get lost in the magnificence of it all! And we should indeed… for a while.
Yet there is also an invitation that walks with autumn’s outward beauty. Yes, she is much more than just a pretty face. She carries a deep mystery and a defining hope as she summons us to behold her. The fall season holds its own unique landscape and sets forth a bridge to the coming winter. It is a walking bridge in my heart way of seeing. It deserves a slow, intentional way of delving into our interior.
As a young boy, my friends and I would rake up a huge pile of leaves and take turns being completely covered as we lay on the chilled Iowa ground. I could feel the once vibrant, soft and supple leaves now stiff and rough grate the back of my neck. Lying still I could sense the warmth of the dead leaves building. They shielded me from the chill outside of “my” pile. There was a unique smell present as well. It is the only time I have ever smelled her fragrance. It is the only time I have ever gotten that close and laid still that long with her. Being surrounded by friends was almost forgotten – but - then as neighborhood tradition called I jumped from the pile and some would shriek while others laughed out loud.
The trees had relinquished their life force somewhat. This was and continues to be the beautiful transition to a death of sorts. It is Mother Nature’s way of telling us there is a beauty to letting go. This is a necessary part of the cycle in order to replenish life itself.
Today, I can now hear the invitation in a life-giving way. This act of releasing, letting go, relinquishing – whatever word or phrase you choose is both beautiful and what? Challenging, difficult, downright scary? Yes, and more than all of that. It is necessary for our trust to grow. It is important to release that which may be harmful for us. It is a partnership we have with our Mother, who along with our Creator cares for us in the cyclical mystery of being born, living to the fullness, letting go and dying so that we may be reborn to eternal life.
Blessed are we who stand at the crossroads and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for our souls.
From a teenager, named Jeremiah.
Scott Jenkins is a Founding Director of Celtic Way
Read more about him here