Poetry and autumn wisdom

Last Sunday we had a time to share reflections, poems, songs or things that God was reminding us of.

We started with some prayer origami, as a physical way of connecting with God’s blessings for us and for each other.

Then we were reminded us that even though we can’t see God answering prayers, which is hard and frustrating, it might be because He is working behind the scenes, and angels and answers to prayer might be on their way, we just can’t see it yet….

Neil shared a poem he wrote in 2016, whilst in Matamata, New Zealand, a place dear to his heart:

“You find magic in the unexpected places
A town, a stopover on the way to hobbits
Time to kill, a heritage trail
Leads to a plantation reserve
An endless corridor of imported trees
In its own way beautiful
Then a corner turned
A native block, a fern pathway
Leads into another world
A world out of time
Of leafy fronds, curls of heart
Pathways ancestors walked
Torn from stories
From fantasies of elemental things
World within a world
For small gods to run and play
To surf on woven leaves
Walk canopies of overshadowing
God-born greens”

Then LJ shared some thoughts and a poem that means a lot to them, I carry your heart by e. e. cummings:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

“It’s a poem that links me to my twin. We used to read to each other at night, and when we had separate rooms we would go in to each other’s rooms and read to each other. Alison (my twin) now lives in New Zealand, she emigrated at the beginning of September and I have been grieving and finding it difficult. This poem connects me to Alison, in some way it is almost like Alison and I carry part of each other as we are technically clones!”

I (Emma) shared something I’d read about autumn that I liked. I don’t like this time of year normally, I don’t like it getting dark, I don’t like going past the autumn equinox into the dark half of the year. I love a sunny crisp autumn or winter day, but it feels like a small light amongst the gloom and cold. This is taken from https://abbeyofthearts.com/blog/2018/09/23/celebrating-autumns-harvest-and-release-a-love-note-from-your-online-abbess/

“The autumn equinox falls today in the northern hemisphere—a time when the sun rests above the equator, and day and night are divided equally. It heralds a season filled with change, celebrates the harvest, and ushers in the brilliant beauty of death. Autumn is a season of transition, of continual movement.

“At the heart of autumn’s gifts are these twin energies of relinquishing and harvesting. It is a season of paradox that invites us to consider what we are called to release and surrender, and at the same time it invites us to gather in the harvest, to name and celebrate the fruits of the seeds we planted months ago. In holding these two in tension we are reminded that in our letting go we also find abundance.

“In the seas of the Northwest U.S. where I used to live, the salmon are responding to an ancient and ancestral call. They are returning from the oceans, and making the hard and often battering journey up the rivers, to return to their birthplaces to lay eggs offering the gift of new life. This journey always ends in their own death. It is an amazing mystery as I imagine this deep longing for home the salmon must feel and the ultimate surrender they welcome while also offering a harvest of blessing for the next generation of salmon.

“I have love the beauty of autumn leaves releasing their hold. I have walked close to death many times in my life now, journeying with my own mother the last few days of her life in the ICU after a massive infection ravaged her body, then with John’s mother who let go after a very long journey with Alzheimer’s and the great unravelling it causes. Fall thrusts us into the messiness of life and challenges us not to turn away. The season of autumn calls me to honor the full spectrum of human experience, to not push away the sorrow and grief, to not fill the waiting with distractions. I rest into the unknown, I stay present to the great sadness I sometimes feel.

“As I walk each day, fall offers solace with her unbearable beauty. But some days, the wind gusts through and the trees are stripped bare. I weep at the ache I feel when I consider how everything I love in this world will one day die. The season calls me to let go of false assumptions, wrests my too-small images of God from me as I enter the Mystery of dying and rising. Autumn demands that I release what I think is important to do and returns me to the only thing which matters that I remember—to love and to allow love to sculpt me, even as it breaks my heart.

“But equally, this season calls us to the harvest. Seeds planted long ago create a bounty and fullness in our lives. Autumn invites me to remember the places in my life where I had a dream that once felt tiny and has now grown and ripened into fullness. I savor these places where my life feels abundant. I relish the experience of being nourished by dreams into my own growing wholeness.

“The poet Rilke writes of autumn: “Command the last fruits to be full; / give them just two more southern days, / urge them on to completion and chase / the last sweetness into the heavy wine.” We move toward our own ripening and in that journey we let go of what no longer serves us. Fall urges us on to our own completion and sweetness.

“We live in times when it often feels like everything is coming undone. This season reminds us that the journey of relinquishing all we hold dear is also the journey of harvesting. Somehow these two come together year after year. We are invited to rest into its mystery.

“What are you releasing that no longer energizes you?

“What dreams do you want to harvest this season?”

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