What feelings and emotions are stirred up in you as we make our way through Autumn or Fall? Do you associate the season with John Keat’s Seasons of Mists and mellow fruitfulness? A time for long rambles through the countryside, admiring a palette of colours that surpasses anything any artist could possibly imagine? Out come the boots, woolly scarves, hats and gloves. ( I love my woolly hats and scarves!)
Maybe you love bringing out the cosy throws and cushions, treating yourself to a new book (or three)? Do you look forward to long evenings spent snuggled up on the sofa, cuddling the dog and binge watching box sets? To find time to muse over those happy Summer memories; the richness that has been and to look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Or do you hear old winter’s song instead? Especially after the time change at the end of October? All Saints, All Souls and ceremonies of Remembrance. Thankfulness mixed with regret; anticipation with apprehension, joy mingling with grief.
Do you look forwards or backwards?
For me, Eva Cassidy’s cover of Autumn Leaves so captures this bittersweet ambiguity. An ambiguity which I’ve felt more than usual, after a season of personal health problems, loss of several folk in our local community who meant much to me, and the ongoing illness of several others.
Loss seems so much more poignant at this time of the year, somehow…
I’m conscious of holding all these opposites in tension.
And yet..of sensing a slow realisation that somehow, there may be if not a richness, rather a supportive presence in the tension, God, the Spirit, if you like. That there are seasons when we’re called to sit with that tension. It’s not a binary ‘either/or’ we have here; more a ‘both/and.’
Knowing that we’re not alone.
After all, The light shines in the darkness.