Dark Mornings Have Arrived

UPCOMING: Paint and Sip for Autumn on October 29th from 1-3. Please reach out for more information and to RSVP. Save the Date for the Holly Fair on the Saturday after Thanksgiving!!

We’re all very familiar with the feel of autumn.  The sadness that comes when the days begin to shorten.  The summer fades away.  The nights become darker.  The shadows become bigger and longer.  Even the light of the moon is shadowed by clouds.  The sky is a vast depth of darkness.  

The trees are stripped bare.  The gardens wither, fade away, and die.  The crickets quiet and stop singing.  The frogs bury themselves away.  The familiar birds and friends fly south.  

There’s sound everywhere, but it’s different.  Hollower.  Louder and scarier than when in the light of summer.  

That’s it.  Scary.  Fear.  Autumn carries with it this sense of fear.  That innate and primal sense of scarcity.  Fear that there won’t be enough.  Enough food.  Enough company.  Enough fuel.  Enough to get us through.  Then that seems to lead us into a fear of what’s to come…or what might come.  Or what inevitably will come.  More darkness.  Deep snow.  Deep cold.  Deep ice.  That we might fall ill or hunger.  That we might be cold to the bone.  That we might be plunged into darkness.  That we might be alone.  

There’s a sense of loss in autumn.  Maybe it’s the way the leaves curl up, crumple, and fall.  Maybe it’s that we are somehow reminded of those we have loved and lost.  Maybe it’s the way the garden leaves us behind and burrows below.  

Maybe it’s the dark.  Maybe it’s the shadows.  Maybe it’s the loss of summer light and warmth.  But there is a chill on the air.  It can fill us with fear and we can become overwhelmed by the “what ifs”.  What if there isn’t enough food, fuel, company?  What if there is too much snow and ice and cold?  What if?  What if?  What if?  

We can allow our fears to become bigger and bigger.  Until we are afraid of the darkness beyond the window pane, what might be lurking under our beds, what might follow us from that movie, and what might be burrowed beneath that pile of leaves or behind the trees…

Those are our imagined fears.  The monster outside the window, under the bed, from the movie, and hidden in the leaves.  It’s not real.  It’s not real.  But it can feel real.  

And it can echo our real fears and worries.  The “valid ones”.  Like can we pay our bills and keep shelter over our heads and feed the children?  Will it be too much?  Too cold, too snowy, too windy, too icy?  Will there be too little?  Will we lose power or slip and fall?  Will we get hurt or ill?  Will the world be okay?  Will we be okay?  

Days grow short.  Nights draw in.  Days grow chill and frost continues to grow.  The winds howl, the rains pour, and the critters have headed south.  

Yes, there is a sense of loss for those easy days of summer.  We mourn the loss of the sun.  The warmth. The greening.  The gatherings.  The breezes.  The critters.  The blue skies.  The blossoming.  

We fear the coming cold.  We fear the dark.  We fear the scarcity.  We fear the wind.  We fear the barrenness.  We fear the monsters.  

Yet there are always monsters.  There is always scarcity.  It is just never quite so stripped bare as when the autumn winds howl through.  It’s never quite so clear as when we see the squirrels frantic for another acorn to get them through and we feel their worry that it might not be enough.  We don’t know.  It’s never quite so clear as when the skies become deep and dark.  

But the lantern are lit.  More are lighting.  The orange twinkle lights pop.  More are lighting.  The harvest is decorated in bright pumpkins and gourds and cornucopias.  The leaves give off an unexpected glory of color, just when we think they are stripped bare.  The last blossom blooms, just when we think the frost had taken it all.  The streets light up with warm light and bright laughter, with soothing candy and the comforts that comes with sharing our bounty, and what we have, with one another. 

Yes, we have our monsters, our worries, and our fears.  But we have one another.  

We have communion with one another.  We have warm shelter with one another.  We have hot coffee hours together and beautiful walks together.  We have one another in the dark and the cold.  And that is what makes us secure.  That is what shines a light on the “what ifs” and the fears and the monsters.  

And when it becomes unbearably dark, we will light the candles of Christmas Time.  White and pure and full of joy.  And when the winter snow comes it will sparkle with the light.  We will remember we are not alone and that it it because of the darkness that the light seems so bright. It is because of the darkness that the cracks where the light comes in make us feel more wholly loved.  It is because of the fear that faith is so beautiful.  It is because of loss that we know life.  

So when it all seems bleak.  When the fearsies begin to creep in.  Remember we are not alone.  And perhaps all we need is a shift in perspective…

(As you figure out the reading, please join along)  

Knowing that it is with this gentle shift in perspective from fear and worry to hope and faith, that we can truly appreciate the blessings that this autumn, and every day, brings…

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