1348. Man is his own most vexing problem. ~Reinhold Niebuhr

To allow oneself to be carried away by
a multitude of conflicting concerns,
to surrender to too many demands,
to commit to too many projects,
to want to help everyone in everything
is itself to succumb to the violence of our times.
Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace.
It destroys the fruitfulness of our work,
because it kills the root of inner wisdom
which makes work fruitful.
~Thomas Merton

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My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. ~Thomas Merton

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures; He leadeth me beside the still waters, He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name sake. ~Psalm 23:1-3  ✝

**Image found on Pinterest; special effects created by me on iPiccy

496. Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree. ~Emily Brontë

the air is different today
the wind sings with a new tone
sighing of changes coming…
~Rhawk, Alban Elfed

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“Summer, barbarous in beauty,” ended yesterday in the autumnal equinox’s circle of equal light and equal night. Now we can, during the course of autumn’s mellow morns and brisk eves, savor long our harvests and go deep into our reflections of what has been accomplished and learned on this year’s trip around the sun. Harsh wintry chills, though soon to be on the horizon, will not set in for quite a while, and so there are yet ample hours before winter’s seclusion is imposed to spend time in nature’s haunts and reminisce about the fruitfulness of all that has come to us this year. So, let us all joyfully enter the autumn courts of Creation with what remains of our annual “time coin” and ponder why we were given this year, what reached in and touched us, and how deep the imprint of our encounters and experiences went. In so doing we shall be able to assess what we began that might endure, what or whom we impacted with goodness, where we allowed ourselves to receive and give love, as well as when and where we made a positive difference in the world.

For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete. ~Deuteronomy 16:15b   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

3. Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. ~Stanley Horowitz

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
~William Blake, English poet


Lusty indeed is the dance of the year’s 4th child; regaled in glory and reigning in majesty, she’s a darling of the gardener.  Because fruitfulness and love run through her “thrilling veins,” those who choose to work the soil know they’ve got one last chance now before year’s end to plant, “to interact with nature, to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark.”  So it is when autumn’s chariots, with pink and purple banners flying or veiled in a gray fog or torrents of rain, enter the eastern sky at dawn, the gardener’s heart is electrified.  Then when her crisp days are done and her carriage exits on the western horizon in a blaze of red and gold or is swallowed in the wetness of massive dark clouds, the gardener is left with the satisfied feeling that he’s conjured up or added yet another stroke or two to his beloved work of art.   As for what Blake called her “jolly voice,” autumn often sings gladsome odes to joy, but there are days when it belts out threatening, thunderous refrains or croons “mournful melodies.”  Regardless of what autumn vocalizes, it’s not until it plays “the harps of leafless trees” and sings the somber song of deep December that both the garden and gardener rest knowing that it’s time to let the Lord and Creation alone perform their miracles, God from on high and the earth from beneath the soil.

A common feast has been prepared at Creation’s hearty tables.  Food for the soul, spirit, and mind has been prepared and offered up for all of us.  So, come, dine with me there in the coming weeks.