Thursday, September 24, 2009

Autumnal Equinox

It doesn't feel too much like autumn here in Erie yet. The temps this week have been mid and high 70s with lots of humidity. However, the calendar and the flower gardens and bushes indicate otherwise. Here is a beautiful arrangement that we kept in chapel for the equinox. It brought a lovely environment for the special morning and evening prayer we had Tuesday. Our liturgists and prayer leaders seem endlessly creative.

Everyone who loves those autumn colors: oranges, browns, reds, deep purples and every shade of tan--is in their glory. Mums are everywhere, as are tall grasses and the almost-ready grapes in the fields just east of us.

We'll be hosting a Seasons of the Spirit Retreat weekend soon--October 2-4: "The Mystery of Chaos and Change." Another group will travel just over the state line into western NY state for a Benetvision-sponsored retreat the same week. October is a huge month for retreat directors and conference centers everywhere. New England leads the pack with their autumn leaf festivals and tours.

Mary Oliver is a New England resident. Here's one of her takes on trees. May you enjoy some special walks in among the changing woods and trees this fall.

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine."