October. The flurry of summer is over, the first frost has come and reduced our gardens. We've taken our last swim in 60 degree waters on the last weekend of September with the trees flaming orange and red all around us. The purple asters are the last flowers standing, and pumpkins, squash, and apples are the fruit of the season. Leaves are tumbling down in the autumn rains. Summer birds are hushed, and ducks gathered on the little ponds put up a nervous racket when we pass them in the dusky morning hours. No doubt we'll see our first snowflakes here in Vermont in just a few days.
We've come to a time of rest in the natural world, and the transition is breath-takingly beautiful when seen from a distance. Stunning reds, oranges and yellows in beautiful shading on individual trees and leaves. Fabulous and spectacular, whole hillsides are a-fire, and it takes our breath away. Up close, standing beneath a tree, or walking through the leaf litter, or raking them up, we see it for what it is: it's death. The sun is leaving us for great stretches at a time, and there is not enough to sustain life and growth. The leaves are dying, falling and withering. They will become part of the soil in a short time, and the trees will hibernate waiting for enough sun to come again and pull life from within them.
I feel the lack of daylight already, and have become quieter and more sober. October marks 49 years for me, and I become more aware of my place in time. There is within me a seeking for the light, every ray now, and a gutteral desire for more of the Light of my Life, more of my God who is my sunshine and warmth and who gives me growth and fruitfulness. "Do not leave me," I cry from within. Perhaps to His eyes, I am burning red right now, or full and sweet, ready to be picked. I am glad that He is God and I am not; He knows all, and makes all things beautiful in His time. Here I am, O Lord, take me.