Autumn – 15 November 2021

See here it is late autumn, the year turning towards the winter. The leaves have mostly fallen, revealing the structure of the tress beneath. A path winds through the woodland, and along the sides ferns turn to gold. A mother a daughter are collecting small branches for firewood, which have broken from the trees because of a wind that has passed through and gone. The picture is light and hopeful, the sky bright with autumnal light.


Pictures like this one capture the melancholy of the season, the counting of the fallen leaves an image of the counting of souls. For many this is a season of thanksgiving and remembrance (All Saints, All Souls, Remembrance Day and Sunday), a spiritual turning towards God who gathers up all things. In the returning to the earth, there comes the promise of the new life of spring.


The picture is ‘A Woodland Path in Autumn’ by Edward Wilkins Waite, 1918, English landscape painter.


The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.

Emily Dickinson


In heaven it is always autumn

John Donne


The Sussex lanes were very lovely in the autumn
spendthrift gold and glory of the year-end
earth scents and the sky winds and all the magic of the countryside
which is ordained for the healing of the soul.

Monica Baldwin


Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

John 12:23-26