Autumn, how I love the season. It is a time of preparation—a preparing for death. This summer my garden was abundantly fruitful. The plants did their jobs well. The harvest was plentiful. So the past few weeks have been full of taking in the harvest and putting food away for the winter. Salsa, tomatoes, green beans, wax beans, purple beans, applesauce, snow peas, peppers, dried herbs, and grape juice.
Some vegetables survive the onslaught of the cold weather—brussel sprouts and kale. But most die the slow death of shorter days, cooler weather, and mildew brought on by the rain; until eventually, they are killed completely by the first hard frost. Then, they lie down and quietly succumb to the earth. What was vibrant is now mute. What was life-giving is now life-less.
But each fruitful plant has left behind a bit of itself—one bit will nourish us through winter evenings, another bit will nourish the small garden creatures that live beneath the soil, and another bit will wait silently for the resurrection signal when it will move and emerge from its resting place in the ground and become a changed form of its parent.
Autumn is an invitation to a death—to allow something that needs to die, die. It invites me to let go of being abundant and fruitful and to lie quietly and rest. It invites me to store up a reserve for the dead days of a spiritual winter. It is an invitation to go underground into the heart’s soil—into the earth of the inner garden and nourish what lies hidden there. And it is an invitation to wait silently for the call—the resurrection cry. Then, movement and life will emerge out of that resting place, the same yet not the same, a transformed image of what I was.