The weather is definitely shifting into fall. Leaves are turning, a fire is welcome in my fireplace at night, and I enjoy “hunkering down” with a cup of tea and a book. The tomatoes are still coming on, but we’ve gathered in our potatoes, onions and
garlic. And the sunlight has shifted to a beautiful golden glow, a glow I associate with harvest and fall.
There’s something about fall that I just love, and I think it is that golden glow, the sense of abundance, harvest, and gathering in of family life. And fall is full of opportunities to reflect on these gifts, from the annual visit of our family to our CSA farm harvest party, to the sound of leaves crunching underfoot during my daily walk, to the thanksgiving for our animals at the Saint Francis Day celebration at the Cathedral. I love all these tangible reminders to slow down (even just for a moment), focus on the ordinary parts of my life, and to be thankful. When I take time to stop for a moment in gratitude in the midst of feeding the chickens or sharing dinner with my children, I notice the sacred in the ordinary, and allow the presence of God to transform my busy schedule.
So take a little time this month during ordinary (or not so ordinary) moments to notice where abundance has crept into your day. It can be fun to practice these with a friend, partner or your children as well:
- During a walk, notice how the light is changing, where the leaves are painting a new picture, how the air feels on your skin.
- Take time to enjoy dinner at home with people you love, lighting candles to mark this time as distinct and sacred (even if it’s only for 5 minutes!).
- Share highs and lows of the day (or week).
- As we approach Saint Francis Day, notice the animal companions that live in your neighborhood.
- Take special note of the “harvest,” even if you haven’t raised it yourself – visit a farmer’s market, a pumpkin patch or an
apple orchard, or even the grocery store to see what’s new!
- Notice the darker mornings and evenings as we begin to move more quickly now toward the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Think in advance about how you’d like to observe these seasons – what have you done in past years that have been meaningful? What could you leave out? Is there anything new you’d like to try? These can be
hectic times, but with some advance thought you can transform the busy-ness
into a rhythm that feeds your spirit rather than exhausting you.
- What practices bring you more into an awareness of abundance and gratitude in your life?
I’d love to hear what brings you joy at this time of year. Let me know at email@example.com
Faith Formation Hub: Children and Family Ministry, Episcopal
Diocese of Olympia