CLARKS SUMMIT — As Hurricane Florence recently taught us but once again, nature has much to teach us. Always did. And always will. Especially when it comes to the season of autumn.
While each and every season of the year has its own appeal to certain people, the fall season holds a rather spiritually unique place in our hearts.
While many seem to mistake the mystery and decline that surrounds and follows the autumn equinox for darkness and evil, it is simply about endings, a natural thing when one thinks about it. For we all know that every journey has its ending and every chapter of life somehow must reach its conclusion before we can move on to the next part of the script.
As the midday sun begins to sink lower in the sky and each night itself becomes a bit chillier and darker, we begin to notice the changing of nature’s colors surrounding us and the piling up of the leaves that provided the natural conditioning of the air we’ve been breathing in those seemingly endless days of our overly humid and rain-soaked summer. Our senses begin to tell us that the reign of summer is fast coming to an end in the northern half of the world.
The voice of autumn speaks to us all. With its breath cool and dry and full of change, it beckons us all to pause and think. It nudges us to reflect upon where we are on the path of life. It calls us to examine anew our use of the precious mystery called “life” and invites us to move forward with an ever greater consciousness of the gift of each and every day.
Is it any wonder than that people feel a spiritually palpable connection to autumn?
So make the best use of it by simply being more mindful and being more present. Be more conscious of that inner call in each and all of us to fulfill the singular mission personally entrusted to each and all of us by the Creator.
Turn off your devices and just take a walk in the midst of the beauty that is fall. Take in the energizing art of the leaves, the color of the sky and grass and stone, the feel of the air and the scents and textures and sights all around you, especially in the unending magnificence of the Hills of the Abingtons which are so blessed to call our home for now.
Take the time to connect to the world that surrounds you this autumn. Make certain that the significance of our truly awe-inducing surroundings don’t pass you by. For we all know that in our all too loud, busy and pressured world it is all too easy to miss out on what God’s creation is beckoning us to see.
Be renewed in peace this autumn. Discover the reality of a tranquil mind and heart. And realize that these days taking us into the inevitability of winter are full of possibilities for spiritual awakenings and renewal.
Enjoy the crisp air and tune in to the whispering voice of the leaves and you just might be pleasantly surprised by God’s call quietly at work within you but once again. Rest assured that the Creator will always use every single aspect of creation and each season of life to stir our hearts and minds if we just open ourselves up to the natural mystery and wonder of it all.
Msgr. Joseph G. Quinn is pastor of Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Clarks Summit.