Friday, 18 September 2009

“For the Beauty of the Earth”

It will soon be autumn here in the United States, one of the most beautiful times of the year when the trees become a blaze of colour. It has already begun in the most northerly states like Maine and Vermont and the tide of glorious colour sweeps gradually south over the next four weeks. The spectacle has been called “God’s Pallette” and it is a heart-warming way that nature has to prepare for the harshness of the winter months.

Unless you are totally without feeling, you cannot fail to be moved by the brilliance of the colours, particularly in heavily wooded areas, where whole mountain sides come alive in the most glorious hues. Even in this modern world where so many of us think we are ‘too busy’ to look around us and see the wonders of nature that abound if we try to see them, most people are stunned by the unique displays of the American Fall. It demonstrates so clearly the contrast between the beautiful way nature builds and changes, compared to the often drab and functional way we humans build today. How often have you seen a beautiful old building torn down to be replaced by a totally utilitarian and ugly structure?

There is so much we can learn from nature. If we allow it to, it will inspire us in every field of human endeavour. Especially the rhythm of the seasons can teach us to appreciate patience – everything has its time – the seasons also mirror the pattern of our own lives. The spring when we are young, enthusiastic, growing fast and our world is full of promise. The summer when we reach our full powers and bloom in many different ways. The autumn when our powers begin to wane, when experience takes the place of enthusiasm, when if we allow it, our lives can take on new colour like the autumn leaves because many of us can follow our hobbies then. The winter when our powers wane more but even then there are the compensations provided by family friends, books etc and we really do have the time to appreciate the natural world. Eventually though the winter brings an end to our lives. However because we then return to our normal dwelling place, the Spiritual world, spring comes again to our souls, just as it comes again on the earth. In that springtime of the spirit we blossom anew, without the cares of earthly existence.

Each season may prompt such thoughts as these but the brilliant colours of the North American autumn do so especially, reminding us not just of the mortality of our physical bodies but also of our immortality of our spirit. Now is the time to open our eyes and see the true glory that is the earth on which we are privileged to live for a short time.

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