“Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.”
― Joan Chittister
This Saturday is the Autumn Equinox, when the sun will move from the Northern hemisphere to the Southern and our days here in the Northern Hemisphere will begin to be shorter. While we will not enjoy the length of days that summer brings, there is something about the autumn light that my soul loves. I long for the break of the heat of summer and crave of the gentle warmth of the autumn sun and her cool, slow nights. As the days become shorter and shorter, I am reminded how much work can be done in the dark. Autumn reminds us to let go and to rest.
With each leaf that falls, Mother Earth reminds us that we must let go of what is no longer giving us life. With each day that holds more darkness than light, Mother Earth reminds us of the deep places in us germinate better in the stillness of the dark.
What are some things you need to let go of? How can you bring more moments of stillness and quiet into your life? Can you commit to a more scheduled time for deep rest and sitting in the dark places of your heart?
I am leaving you with a beautiful prayer from Edward Hays. As we Autumn begins, may you hope for the hidden promise that will be ripening within you this season.
Dance with delight, O flame of autumn fire,
as the Earth, spinning and leaning away from the sun,
begins to cool from the summer heat.
Speak to me of the promise hidden in this season of autumn.
For spring is seeded in this season of completion,
just as the giant oak exists within the acorn.
Autumn fire, orange and yellow sacrament of the sun,
light up the darkness with your dancing.
Your power is seeded in the ripeness
of the fruit and grain of this harvest season.
Great is God, whose heart is the shrine
wherein lives this whole universe;
great is your heart, my Beloved,
greater still is your unceasing love for me.
May my love for you enflame my every word of thanksgiving
to reflect the golden beauty of autumn
that the Earth dons once again.
Edward Hays, from Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim