Monthly Archives: September 2016

On the first day of Fall

Several years ago, three, I think, I posted this reflection on the fall. It really is one of my favorite seasons. It came up “on this day” on Facebook. As I reread it, I thought it is still true. Autumn reminds me that life is short. God is good and each day is gift and the fall weather reminds me that I should not take this gift for granted. I am reposting in the hopes that that reminder might be a blessing for others.

On the Autumn Equinox

 

Thoughts on this first day of Fall

Last year at this time I was reading an old fall issue of Midwest Living, a magazine that focuses on life in the mid-west. What struck me about this issue, was not the recipes, although I love to cook, not the trips or the festivals but the opening piece by the editor. He had asked people why they loved the fall. The responses varied, but tended toward “it’s cooler, it’s football weather, the leaves are lovely and my routine is back after the long days of summer.”I was looking for something else. I love autumn. I, too, love the cooler weather, the leaves that change colors, the opportunity to jump in a pile of just raked leaves, the mums that burst forth as the last color before winter. I love the smell of the wood fires and the sight of bright stars on a cool crisp night.

For me, autumn is my time to reassess my life. I know for our dominant culture we make “resolutions” on January 1. I, however, look over my goals, check out my calender and try to prioritize what is truly important in the fall.

Autumn drives me in a way no other season does. I feel compelled to check my pantry, to can up produce and freeze produce for the winter. I feel pushed by time as the days grow shorter and colder.

Without being maudlin, autumn reminds me that I will not live forever. My days on earth have a beginning and have an end. I am not promised forever, only the moments I am given. As the days wane, I am deeply aware that my life also wanes. In the springtime all is new and exciting and wonderful and young. I look for the tulips and the daffodils and iris to spring forth in all their glory. In the fields I can see the young calves and the lambs and the colts. I can hear the “cheep cheep” of the young birds in the nest.

Summertime is for long sun-filled days, full of energy. When the crops begin to grow green and tall and begin to produce the sought after harvest. Summer is a gathering in of family and friends and an enjoyment of time that seems to stand still.

Then suddenly, the days grow shorter, a cool breeze creeps in from the north. soon leaves begin to turn color until they are a riot of orange and coral and amber and red. The wind grows stronger and they begin to fall until the branches of the trees are barren and the grass has turned brown and the nights are much longer than the days.

Autumn is our seasonal reminder to “pay attention” if you will to the life we have been given. To say “I love you” to the people that matter the most. To, in the words of the Psalmist “to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” There will come a time when I enter the winter of my life, when like the autumn leaves, I will have spent all that have and will lie down to rise no more.

I want to honor the days of my life that I am given. I want to love well, to truly let those people I love know how much I have loved them and appreciated their love. I want to use my gifts and abilities in a way that leaves this world a better place. And at the last, I want to say a prayer of thanks to God for the times and the seasons I have been given.

I am

Graced to Serve.

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To Boldly Go on Faith

Today is the 50th anniversary of the first episode airing of Star Trek. I was a little girl, but was so enamored of this television show. I loved studying the stars and watching Apollo missions and reading everything I could find on the “world” out there.

When this show launched, I was immediately transported to “Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Its 5-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”   I wanted to be an astronaut, but was told again and again “girls were not allowed.” Supposedly we were not strong enough or smart enough to do space flight. Newer series and movies change the quote to boldly go where no one has gone before, but the original is important because it was made pretty clear to me as a child that women mostly were allowed to boldly go nowhere.

Yet, Star Trek challenged that assumption. Granted, the original series mostly kept men in the “important” jobs, still there were women on the bridge and in space! Subsequent series had women as doctors, engineers and certainly captains and admirals. I eagerly waited each week for the next episode to see what wonderful adventures there were beyond the solar system. For years after that I watched every space launch and a man walk on the moon. Now I read and look at the pictures sent back from all the satellites as we continue to explore beyond this planet earth.

So many of Star Trek’s made up technology is now standard. The flip phone, reminiscent of the communicator, automatic doors, voiced computers (Siri anyone?), tablet computers and visual communications all have come to life since that amazing television show. The ideas of respect for different cultures and ethnic groups and religion and species was a hallmark of the show as well as an ideal of peace between peoples.

For me, the opening lines of the show speak to a different place inside of me than when I was a little girl. There are strange new worlds and new life and civilizations all around me. I don’t need to fly “light years” away. Faith itself is its own frontier. Attempting to live a life of love, of grace and of acceptance is boldly going where many do not want to go.

Right now, in the middle of a political season that is proving to be mean, ugly and hateful, I long for a place to go where there might be a new worlds of peace and justice, love and grace. Yet, wherever I go, there I am. If I am not living out a new life and a new civilization in my heart and spirit and mind, it doesn’t matter where I go.  It is more than a five year mission, it is a lifetime. of seeking out a new world of love, light and grace.

Perhaps, as it has always been, the final frontier is faith. Faith that challenges me to trust that when Jesus says to love one another, this is a new world and a new civilization. When Jesus says that the only way to truly know God is to serve one another and to turn the other cheek and to believe that good will overcome evil. This frontier is one that asks me to follow the path of righteousness and peace, regardless of what others say. This frontier reminds me that those who who walk the path of peace and love are children of God.

So today, I celebrate the 50th anniversary of this show that set my young heart and spirit on fire. I celebrate with my favorite Mr. Spock saying in my profile picture from Facebook

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May this final frontier bring peace, bring justice and love to this strange world. May you live long and prosper!

I am graced to Serve

 

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