West Virginia Morning: Autumn Longing




This morning, when I ventured into the back yard, my ministrations were discovered by a noisy Blue jay. As I peered into each blade of grass, studied each fallen leaf, he swooped above me mimicking the call of a crow. He couldn’t hide his vibrant feathering, however, and soon I knew his secret.

“You cannot fool me,” I chided, as he leered down from the Maple tree. “What is it you want?”

But he only continued his throaty croaking.

The light arrives sooner each day as the earth moves in time with God’s symphony. Yesterday afternoon, I lay in the hammock as a moist wind blew through, stirring the trees. The poplar in the meadow behind me let down her golden hair and as I reclined, wave after wave of curling leaves blew over me. As that tall tree let loose her locks, I felt myself let go as well.

Autumn stirs the longing.

This morning I am reminded of C.S. Lewis’s words in a letter to his friend Arthur Greeves,

“I think almost more each year in autumn I get the sense, just as the mere nature and voluptuous life of the world is dying, of something else coming awake. You know the feeling, of course, as well as I do. I wonder is it significant – in stories the nymphs slip out of the tree just as the ordinary life of the wood is settling down for the night.  Does the death of the natural always mean the birth of the supernatural?  Does one never sleep except to let something else awake?”

In autumn, when the leaves sacrifice their life that the roots may be better nourished … this beautiful death reminds me of a greater awakening.

Oh, the wisdom of the seasons! If only I could open my hand and move through this slow dying with such grace. Isn’t this the way to move through the moments? With the awareness of that thin wall separating the seen from the unseen?

The poplar tree shall be my mentor. The God-made rhythms of this world my guide. Each passing year of this slow-dying finds me all the more alive.

I’m taking the time every day, to invite God into my ordinary, to notice how life responds to his presence when my heart is open to him. It’s a practice that inspired a book. And I’m sharing in community with the 31 dayers.  You can find links to all the posts in this series so far right here.

31 Playdates with God




  1. […] I stood under that twinkling canopy, I felt a kinship with the Lonely One. I have spoken before of the longing that autumn evokes. That sweet yearning pulled at my heartstrings urgently as I stood alone among the song of cicadas […]

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