October 18, 2014 – A View from the Rectory Window

 

IMG_1177 - CopyFor everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.  A time to be born and a time to die.  A time to plant and a time to harvest. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

The ‘view’ from the rectory window is changing; the grass before the Blessed Mother is turning golder, the trees      behind the pavilion are brightly releasing their leaves, and during my morning prayers I watch squirrels with full jaws hiding their acorns.  Sometimes I hear the ping of an acorn dropping onto my little black truck and I remind myself that tonight I should park it somewhere else (which I never remember to do).

‘The times they are a-changin.’  Actually, the season has already changed.  Quietly and unobtrusively that happened on September 23.  But I hardly noticed.  I was busy.  Now I do notice.  It is cooler tonight, and darker.  It’s Fall.

Isn’t that the way life is?

You just go along, minding your own business, and all of a sudden something is different.  Children grow up.       Grandchildren appear.  And then disappear as they mature.  Health fades.  Birthdays come and go.  Loved ones pass away.  Opportunities present themselves, and then they are gone.  Life rolls along and something happens like the bright glory of the trees leaves that makes us stop and take notice.

In the spring and summer things move faster.  Life seems endless and always expanding.  Things grow and grow.  New life emerges.  Days grow longer.  Often it is hard to keep up.

Fall is different.  Fall is a season of change.  Fall reminds us that nothing stays the same.  Some changes are easy.  Who wants to hold on to winter when spring arrives?  Fall is different.  It is a beautiful season, but winter is just around the corner.  Sometimes change is hard.
Fall is a time of harvest.  It is the intentional gathering of resources for life.  It’s no accident that squirrels gather nuts, we pick grapes and apples, and we carve pumpkins.  I hope we take time to notice, celebrate and appreciate the     blessings in our life.

Fall is a time for thankfulness.  Even when things don’t turn out the way we would like, it is hard not to be thankful at the harvest. Maybe it is no accident that the Thanksgiving holiday occurs right in the middle of Fall.  Life is always more generous than we might realize, especially when we look back on it.

Fall is a season of generosity.  I don’t think that it is a coincidence that as a parish family we do some of our most   generous sharing in the fall.  And generosity has a great power for good, because it involves the process of letting go, relinquishing, giving up something in order to help another.  Generosity helps both the giver and the one who receives.

Well, it’s darker outside my window than when I began writing this reflection.  A few more leaves have fallen.  And a couple of more acorns just hit my truck.

“For everything there is a season,” as the writer of Ecclesiastes says.  The day may be shorter or cooler, but there will always be something to harvest, something to share and something to give thanks for.  I am grateful to share this time with you.

Father Pete