As I went into the garden a couple of mornings ago, I noticed that the brambles reaching in over the fence were full of ripening blackberries. It was about ten to seven, and all was still and quiet. This sign from nature prompted me to realise that the season is changing. There was something in the way the light fell, something in the temperature of the air, that spoke of the end of summer, and of the first dawning of autumn.
I always feel a sense of excitement at that first realisation that the one season is giving way to another; a sense of awe at the rhythm of the earth which is beating whilst you and I are occupied with the concerns of day-to-day living. There is something at work which is greater, older, more patient than ourselves. The blackberries were a small miracle which spoke of the energy of the earth, of its generosity and of its continuity.
The month of September is a gateway from one way of living to another. With the arrival of September, we realise that the carefree months of the summer are over, and that any plans we had for that season must now be put aside until next year, God willing. Although the leaves are still on the trees, the days are shortening, the sun's power is waning and our thoughts turn from adventure and travel to the securities of hearth and home. Our spirits are warmed less by the sun and more by the ripening and gathering of fruits and seeds.
But with every ending, there is also a beginning. September is the time for new voyages and horizons as the school year begins, young women and men set sail for university, college or employment. Young children leave the nest of home to learn to use their wings at nursery and playgroup.
In this season of letting go and turning inwards there is an opportunity for us to embrace new elements in our spiritual lives. What must we let go of in order to further ripen our relationship with God? What seeds do we need to plant into our spirits during these quieter months, so that new life may spring up with the new shoots of spring time?