One of my friends who is an accomplished musician brings every party to a hush when he plays the old classic song, "Autumn Leaves". It is not difficult to understand why. A glance around the room reveals faces caught in a moment of remembering, nostalgia, and wistful longing. The song evokes in us the remembering of the good times, the sad times, and those far off days when we were young. This is not a song for the very young.
As Autumn gathers in we think of all the people who have made significant contribution to our life. The colours of autumn are shades of gold, russet and brown. They are the colours that comfort us and, as Winter beckons, fill us with the warmth of soulful remembering.
In the Christian Brothers in the northern hemisphere this is the time when we celebrate jubilees. Brothers gather to remember together the stories of their lives. There are many who have spent fifty or more years living their lives to the full as Brothers. There is smaller group who can look back sixty or seventy years of service to people and of commitment to community living.
In the world of nature Autumn is a time of hunkering down, of conserving energies for the future, of gathering in a harvest, of letting go of what is no longer needed. It is a process that underpins the renewal of life, that lays in the treasures that make possible a new and richer life when Spring comes.
There is something in this message that is universal, that is important for our own journeys. New possibilities always require some letting go of what is past. So, let us celebrate this time of letting go. This theme is captured very well by the poem below.
© Edel T. Copeland
Golden, crisp leaves falling softly from almost bare trees,
Lifting and falling in a hushed gentle breeze,
Slowly dropping to the soft cushioned ground,
Whispering and rustling a soothing sound.
Coppers, golds, and rusted tones,
Mother Nature’s way of letting go.
They fall and gather one by one,
Autumn is here, summer has gone.
Crunching as I walk through their warm fiery glow,
Nature’s carpet rich and pure that again shall grow,
To protect and shield its majestic tree,
Standing tall and strong for the world to see.
They rise and fall in the cool, crisp air.
It’s a time of change in this world we share,
Nature’s importance reflecting our own lives,
Letting go of our fears and again, too, we shall thrive.