The autumn colours are well on their way. Some of the trees have dropped their leaves already in some
numbers. It is that time of year when we feel the world turning and the time comes close to pop the heating
on longer and switch the lights on sooner.
I wonder what theology we take and make and work with as autumn comes on? Perhaps there is something here
of the endless cycle of seasons; of God’s intention being that, at least in our part of the globe, the verdancy of spring
and summer needs to give way to the stillness of autumn and the time for soil and plant to rest, awaiting a rebirth.
Or it might be that thoughts of autumn shift to cosmology. Our autumn comes because of the dynamics of Earth’s
orbit round the sun and our globe’s tilt upon its axis.
Our place in longitude and latitude play their part as we head through the equinoxes and solstices. All this intricate
celestial mechanics brings us autumn (and Google has taught me lots about all of this!). So autumn’s changes speak grand designs of
stars and planets and the power of orbits.
Then there’s the theology that finds expression through human creativity. I think of conkers and fallen leaves made into a million
artworks in schools and homes and churches. And then there’s poetry. Here’s what Clare Girling has given us:
The Pear Tree
The weathered pear, four generations old
My window-meditation, lives in peace.
Rough boughs, pale clouds of fragile blossom hold
Where slim bees hover. Tender leaves increase,
Light-fringed, to cup the summer sky and move
In gentle lifting through blue-dappled shade.
So may I ponder on such kindly Love
Which keeps in beauty every shining blade
Destined so soon to drift through
T owards winter dissolution: Glory lost
Reveals new grandeur of trimmed
To the gale’s strength, crisp outlined in chaste frost.
So wondering, I dream through the tree’s year
Learning acceptance of God’s Order here.