We have been slowing down
after the activities of summer and early fall.
We’ve marked the end of “daylight savings time”
and have begun what we call “standard time.”  

We’ve moved beyond the Halloween landscape
of ghosts from the past, haunting memories,
nostalgic and distant memories
and “fall” deeper into the autumn’s cooling embrace
and the dimming of the day.  

We are invited to contemplate and reflect
on the last year and begin looking forward to the year ahead—
a good season with its joys and melancholy.  

We hang suspended during this transition
to the days of feast and festivity that lie ahead.  
Our landscapes have changed and also our wardrobes.  
We begin to sense the redeeming days
of Thanksgiving and Christmas looming on our horizon.  

We grow in our desire to return home.  
We yearn for home…
the place that has nurtured us and kept us safe.  
Across the whole world
the warmth and security of home is a universal language.  
Especially with the terrors and unsettledness today—
a world growing in shadows,
we turn our gaze towards home.  
We long for quiet spaces and times of reflection.  

Every journey begins with a step—
some movement.  
It is easy to get stuck in some of autumn’s moods.
Some of us need time to
slowly turn our days away
from the decay and emptiness we might feel
towards the feelings of thankfulness,
appreciation, and hope that lie ahead.  

Crafting a space of gratefulness
is a step towards the festivities ahead.
We reflecting on the years past,
the many, many blessings that touch our lives
which we so easily take for granted—
such amenities as air, water, food, clothing, home, and friends—
and looking forward to a promising future…

these thoughts graciously saturate
the darker moods that tend to “hang on” longer than we’d like.

During this transition
we renew our roots and
gather strength for the joy ahead.  

As the days grow darker,
our need of hope grows.

“Though He slay me,
yet will I hope in Him: (Job 13:15);

“O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with Him is full redemption” (Psalm 130:7);

“He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  
They will soar on wings of eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:29-31);

“Be joyful in hope” (Romans 12:12);

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul,
firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19);

and “God has chosen to make known
among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery,
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

In soul work our souls long
for an anchor of hope amidst all the darker emotions
that come our way.  
The soul is not afraid of “feeling those emotions.”
However, it is relieved momentarily
of its melancholic tendencies
as the light of Christmas slowly dawns upon us.  
The hope of the “Christ-child”
birthing anew sheds light in a dark place.  

We give thanks and gather hope!

Season's of the Soul Index