Living God, your timescales are not our own,
 your plans are not ours to know or cont


    Companions on the Way


 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
                                               Autumn air
                                               T owards winter dissolution: Glory lost
                                               Reveals new grandeur of trimmed
                                               branches, bare
                                               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.

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