Turning a new leaf

Each October of the year reflects a season I most love – Fall.

The incredible beauty of fall is most tangible as it breaks away from the humid and hot summer blitz.  It symbolises a time to prepare.  To reflect on the past.  To be ready for the upcoming dreary months.

Nancy Tafuri is author of a children’s storybook entitled The Busy Little Squirrel. The book was chosen as one of the Best Children’s Book of the Year by Bank Street College of Education and a finalist in the Connecticut Book Awards.

The leaves have started to fall. The air is cold. And Squirrel needs to get ready for winter.  He cannot nibble on the mice. He does not time to hop with the frogs or run with the dogs.  And this busy little Squirrel doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

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It’s a wonderful book that ushers in the autumns of our life.

The season (and yes I get the fact that we don’t have autumn in the Philippines or in the Southern Hemisphere), is symbolic of our life. We bid goodbye to the vibrance, warmth and eclectic summer joys reflective our youthful days.  When trees and plants shed their garments of leaves and blossoms temporarily, and rest and wait with hope while they endure the cold, dreary winter season, before blossoming once again in Spring…just like our lives.

I am sharing with you some beautiful thoughts of Ellen Shuck written in October 2007.  I couldn’t have fallen in love with autumn more…

Our lives are like that.  We experience many autumns, physically, spiritually, and emotionally…while watching their dust I see an upcoming time of rest, planning and letting go of what was.  I join nature in preparing for a deeper time of hibernation — winter.

Days become shorter and the nights longer.  But the blackness of evening brings a cozy blanket of contemplation.  Although activity thrives during the autumn and winter, too, there’s a different aura present.  One can think about his endeavours — why he attempted these, and where they’ve brought him.

Perhaps your autumn is learning to cope with the death of someone significant, you’ve lost a job, a divorce took place or a child disappointed you.  A relative had to move to a nursing home.  Your self-esteem is at low ebb.  Have you lost your dreams?

God allows the spiritual seasons of our lives to coincide with the physical seasons.  There’s hope there.  Regardless of droughts, floods or failed crops, there’s always another tomorrow…If spring and summer were always present there would be no time to regenerate.  Autumn brings wisdom, reflection and time to repair and plan.  New chances and new life are promised.

There’s beauty in passing from the green productivity of summer into the shadowy hues and sluggishness of the fall…all things change, somehow.  There are lessons to be learned from our times of activity and productivity.  But we can only find what God is attempting to show us by stepping back, ridding ourselves of some of our leaves of dogged purpose and just being still for a while.

Indeed, autumn is a time of ambiguity.  The winds blow causing flags to furl and unfurl, but they remain connected to their pole — that centre that holds them.

For when the storm subsides they will know life’s contentment and lounge in the breeze.

So, what autumn are you experiencing now? Regardless, remember God is there in all seasons — life and death.

Like the story of Squirrel, how do we prepare for the winters of our life?

Through reflection and by turning a new leaf…

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