“Writing offers at least the opportunity for us to be more personal and giving than we are
able to be in the quick and casual conversation which seems to characterize our hurried days.
And the written note, letter, word can be held and re-read, treasured and returned to for inspiration and renewal. There is an intimacy and inspiration we often achieve when writing that we cannot
bring to our speech. …I also believe there are things we can better say written, things more reflective and of deeper
feeling, less driven by the emotionality charged moment. Words to the heart that
can be pondered, read and re-read.” Gilbert Bowen, in a sermon “Living
“The real meaning of our days here may lie not in our careers
or causes, but in the intimate and personal relationships that are near and often taken for granted. At least it did with Jesus who at the last settled in with a close circle He trusted to fulfill His mission.”
Bowen in a sermon “Making Meaning.”
Now comes that special time of year when all our world north of the equator transforms from the green of summer to
the multi-color magic of Autumn. Scientists probed the mysteries of plant life
and gave us the term photosynthesis. The lyrics to that old song become
intensely meaningful: “the fundamental things apply, as time goes by.” Prepare. Consider the ant. Rejoice in your sufferings with echoes of Paul’s letters in the Old Book: “…can anything
cut us off from the love of Christ – can hardships or distress (or even death)?
No, we come through all these things triumphantly victorious, by the power of Him who loves us.”
This special harvest time I find myself almost on the other side of yet another passage, counting my good fortune in
having found a buyer for my Chalet L’Abri. From the beginning prayers were
delivered up that the move and transition might be made with minor annoyances and so it has been. Deeply grateful for my new down-sized quarters in this small college town.The calendar
turns. October arrives and poetry that is autumn. “Oh look,” wrote
Walt McDonald, “old Galileo whispered, look, we move. And burning, burning
in the sky, the sun stood still. Earth turned and spun and whirled about the
ball, but no one else believed. Not then….” But now we know. What is important and what may we let the
autumn wind blow away? “So teach us to count our days…” and
in doing so we learn that we are not in control and accept that the Eternal is intensely real.
Some things are more important than others. Wrote Blaise Pascal, the great
scientist and saint, “A monstrous thing to see people raging and despairing over mere affronts and inconveniences, while
being indifferent to things of gravest import.”
Robert Morneau serves up a savory banquet: “In October the smoldering
leaves scent the air with mysterious odors, summer dreams are finally buried, marsh ponds become international airports, football
widows realize the permanence of their situation…an early snowflake arrives just to check future lodging, a spring kite
decides to challenge the autumn wind, one hour in the woods is worth a week in the city; and death cannot be denied its rhythm.”
The golden rod is more intensely golden this season and more abundant along the byways of our central Shenandoah Valley. Maybe it’s just a fluke of my imagination.
Somewhere I read that no two of us see our world in any identical way.