The change of seasons is upon us. Our dear landscape is changing from green to gold and red, crisp, cooler air, and the calls of geese heading south. Perhaps we have gotten our sweaters out again, put our storm windows down, and are making preparations. We may have even made a hot soup! It is a nostalgic time as we adjust and prepare for wintertime. But there is also an energy in the air, especially here at All Souls as we move into our new year, getting to know people who have recently found our community (welcome!), and getting to have that long-awaited conversation, find out how folks are doing. What are they facing, recovering from, celebrating, learning about, interested in? Over the years, I have sat in circles and a question is offered – How is it with your spirit? This is a deeper question than how are you? which often I answer simply. But at a deeper level, it is good to check in with ourselves and each other – how are we, how are we really? Do we need to share more of what is happening with us? Do we need to reach out for support? Are we in a place where we can offer another a time of deep listening or care? Being part of a community involves a balance of giving and receiving, of deepening our connection with each other so that we do feel comfortable sharing the truth of how we are. I encourage each of us to feel the embrace of All Souls and to reach out to receive and to give. Be curious. Want to learn more about the person sitting or singing next to you. We are all part of a changing, evolving faith tradition with much to be inspired by. The work is ours to do today and in each moment. Let us deepen into the essence of who we are, knowing that our experiences are shaping us but we are not bound by them. I look forward to learning and growing with you!
With deep gratitude,
“Use what you have, use what the world gives you. Use the first day of fall: bright flame before winter’s deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself. The leaves as they spark into wild color just before they die are the world’s oldest performance art, and everything we see is celebrating one last violently hued hurrah before the black and white silence of winter.”
— Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way