Falling leaves of autumn,
with each stem that breaks,
with each layer of perishing,
you teach me what is required,
if I am to grow before I die.
~~ Joyce Rupp
It is early morning. The sun is expected to rise in about 20 minutes. I usually embark on a 50-minute brisk walk shortly after sunrise every morning. But in this moment, there is a wintry mix falling in the darkness. I know the sun will still rise, and suspect it will be well hidden from my view this morning. I have been in my art studio for about 45 minutes with the window open. It is a little chilly, but I want to hear the rain falling on the drying leaves. Such a gentle sound - a whisper from God. My studio is where I pray. It is where I create. It is where I journal. It is where I wonder. I have just begun a three-week on-line art class and we are working with falling leaves this week. I am ready to begin painting, sketching and collaging ...
I often return to this quote by Joyce Rupp ~~ during the autumn season, certainly, and also during other times of year when there is yet another layer perishing in my always transitioning life. If I am not mindful of the loss, I will miss the growing lesson. I try to be mindful.
In her most recent post on Spirit of Sogetsu, Michelle Rogers shares about her own experience of releasing. Stop by if you have not already done so. I recognize that some people are inclined to miss the blessing of Autumn out of concern for Winter nipping at their heels (and their thermostats). They are summer people and the change of seasons is not cheerfully anticipated. I have come to appreciate the slowing of autumn - the afternoon light, the smell of composting leaves, and the colors previewing a coming season that further invites a slowing down for even more clarity.
AWBA continues to work on its three-year strategic plan (near completion!). This process has invited our board to be clear by releasing those things that seem less urgent to make space for the best of the better. How about you? Whether in your work, family or personal life, what might need to break away? Is there something you have been holding onto out of habit and/or comfort even though it no longer seems to be serving you and those around you in a life-giving manner? For those impacted by a chronic diagnosis, there is often a perpetual release of layers - often uninvited and, sometimes, unanticipated. Learn from God's created cycle of nature. For me, it is always a matter of trust. Can I trust that as something breaks and falls away into the compost of my past that a deep teaching will become clear and new life will spring forth?