Song du Jour

Song du Jour

Benedictine Thoughts, Teachings, and Prayers

The Autumn Threads of Time

September 17, 2012

I saw this wonderful artwork and I had to share it with you.  It reminded me of a clock, time and how the seasons are changing and how we all must change. 


From the fiery circle of warmth rising in the east to the coral-purple skies setting in the west, our senses tell us that the summer days are winding down and the new season of autumn is weaving its way into the fibers of our lives. Just as the colorful pallet of embroidery threads excite our eyes, so does the tapestry of spiced fall shades entice our five senses.


Externally, there is autumnal action happening all around us: hearing the variety of birds and butterflies rhythmically oscillating their wings while migrating south for the winter; seeing the Impressionistic water colors painting the skies of dusk; smelling the delicious scent of a burning pumpkin cinnamon candle; tasting the tantalizing layers of cranberry raisin pecan bread pudding; and touching the knitted wool of warm variegated sweaters as the thermometer slowly descends to clear, brisk temperatures. From the Mid-Atlantic States to Canada, an aerial view from above creates for us nature’s artistic array of the many different trees exhibiting their individuality in color.


One of my very favorite bush’s is: euonymus alata  - the “eu” means good, “onoma” means a name and “alata” means that it has appendages or wings, such as its leaves and stems (known commonly as the burning bush belonging to the Celastraceae, or bittersweet family) crescendos gradually from a moss green to reddish pink leaves while also producing petite red berries: it is named for its burst of red color in honor of the prophetic story of the Lord speaking to Moses through a burning bush.


As the air and winds of the new season transition, so does our internal “burning bush” call us to listen with the ear of our hearts to God; asking us to mirror the external changes we sense while creating a new tapestry for our souls within. Aside from harvesting the fruits and vegetables of our summer fields, it is time to harvest our hearts to the autumn God who reaps in us a 2012 metamorphosis, bringing us ever closer to his heart and way of thinking. It is time to take what we need for the winter and release what we no longer need this autumn. We struggle with the earthly world not wanting to let go; not wanting to change in the direction of God’s wind so that we can swirl and whirl like multifaceted leaves, blowing hither and yon until God leads us to the place where we are to be in our lives…changed, transformed: our hearts glowing with new love; our feet stepping to new rhythms;…softer thoughts, a gentler spirit, a compassionate voice, a tender touch, and new ears to listen differently before autumn began. It is an engaging season as autumn pulls us into our five senses but also pulls us in spiritually as God tugs on our mind, body and spirit asking us to listen to his “burning bush”  and “to turning ourselves around until we come ‘round right” (quotes from Simple Gifts.)


In Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr’s book, Seasons of Your Heart, she refers to us as “autumn struggler’s as we change seasons in our spiritual lives…seasons of wonder, hope, suffering, love, healing, dying, rising, and of faith;” WE are the leaves changing color this autumn as God whispers to us in the spirit wind, we hear his voice, we contemplate, we turn, and turn and turn until God quietly and secretly illumines our kaleidoscope hearts for another autumn of change.

My song du jour for this week is based on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Turn! Turn! Turn!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Songwriters: Words are taken from the Bible: Book of Ecclesiastes; the music by Pete Seeger; and recorded by The Byrds.

Turn! Turn! Turn!


To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time for every purpose under heaven.


A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep.


A time to build up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stones

A time to gather stones together.


A time of war, a time of peace

A time of love, a time of hate

A time you may embrace

A time to refrain from embracing.


A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rend, a time to sew

A time of love, a time of hate

A time of peace. . .I swear it's not too late


I would like to end with a quote from St. Hildegard of Bingen who’s feast day is today: 

“There is the Music of Heaven in all things and we have forgotten how to hear it until WE sing.”

“That in all things, God may be glorified.”

Sr. Jo-El McLaughlin, O.S.B.



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