Here we are once again in the season of fall. Fall (autumn) runs from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30. Autumn officially arrives when the trees and plants start to shed their leaves in preparation for colder months. It is the plant world’s way of hibernating.
The first day of autumn is known as the autumnal equinox. On this day, the number of hours of daylight and darkness are equal. Autumn is a time of change. The weatherman today (Oc.t 8) is speaking about warming temperatures and rain. Soon he/she will be speaking of cooler temperatures and frost.
Many of us are looking forward to our first frost this season only because allergies may go away and hopefully, so will the mosquitoes. Soon, some of the birds and butterflies will fly to warmer climate. Since autumn is a time of change, gardens may still be producing, but not at such a fast pace as earlier.
Harvest time has begun for crops of corn and soybeans. A ride in the country reveals huge pumpkins that may soon be on display at the Circleville Pumpkin Show. It is time for a trip to the orchard for apples, pears and pumpkins to name a few.
Autumn is also a time of letting go and dying. When the frost comes, the plants, which have given fruit and flower, will die. The days will be warm and shorter and the nights cooler. As I look around where I live, the trees have yet to turn different colors. I did spot one red leaf, which is a sign that things are beginning to change.
As time moves on, soon the leaves will be letting go and falling to the ground. It reminds me of time spent with others who related stories of their families and some of the situations of which they could not let go. Some of these things happened years ago, but for one reason or another, they were unable to put them aside.
As I thought of those situations mentioned, I had to take a long look at myself and ask what I was holding onto and of which I needed to let go. What has helped me in the past is to pray about it, work on the situation and then if things don’t get better, I write the situation down on a piece of paper, place it in my empty Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix can, turn it over, let go and give it to God.
Every so many years, I turn the can over, open the lid, pull out the papers, read them and throw them away. Sometimes some situations need to stay in the can longer. There are situations that are easier to let go of than others and that is the reason for the can.
None of us can grow without change. Autumn is a necessary season between summer’s fruitfulness, winter’s dormancy and spring’s new life. New growth cannot come unless autumn lets go of the past. The same is true of us.
Mary Kay Wood is a retired pastoral minister at St. Joseph Catholic Church and is a member of the Pickaway County Ministerial Association.