Monday, October 13, 2008

Thanksgiving - Lawrence

At this time of year we think about autumn with its glorious colours and falling leaves. Walking through the leaves we smell the scent of autumn and know that the coming of winter will soon be upon us. Many of us think of fall as the best season of the year perhaps because of its beauty and earth’s harvest time. But this may also be the saddest season of the year as falling leaves bring bare trees and signs of death all around us.

Fall brings us harvest festivals and Thanksgiving celebrations. Having planted in spring’s moist earth; watched the seeds’ grow through their first sprouting, budding and flowering in summer’s warmth; rejoiced in their fruiting and harvest as they mature, now we give thanks to the Creator of all this goodness in our harvest services and our family gatherings.

But, for all our rejoicing and celebrating, fall is a sad time of year; with the culmination of the harvest comes also the end of the growing days, the death of the ground plants, the approach of winter’s cold and earth’s apparent death.

People begin to make plans for the coming winter season—they plan to play on the snow-packed ground and the frozen water. Is it a good thing, this denial of nature’s opportunity for rest and renewal? The Creator made our planet with cycles of day and night, summer and winter, life and death. Other animals follow these cycles; some are diurnal, others are nocturnal; some animals hibernate through the winter while others migrate to warmer climes.

We humans defy or deny the cycles of the earth. We do shift-work; we play and work through the winter months; we go on about our business, wrapping ourselves in warm clothing, denying the cold and death of winter and its call to rest.

Perhaps this is not a bad thing. This attitude helps us get through the difficulties in life—times of illness, times of poverty, times of loss. It helps us fight through illnesses and pain; find cures for diseases that were once terminal; we keep smiling, hoping and giving thanks through adverse conditions. It helps us keep on keeping on.

We give thanks not only for the good things—the harvest, our well-being, our blessings—but also the spiritual growth that comes to us through our reliance on God in our difficulties, and the peace that passes all understanding, which comes in times of poverty, illness and loss.

May each reader be blessed in this fall season of paradox; may each be blessed with spiritual growth in whatever are your life’s circumstances.

Judith Lawrence
Author of Glorious Autumn Days: Meditations for the Wisdom Years and Grapes From The Vine, Book of Mystical Poetry. Both available at
Author of Prayer Companion: A Treasury of Personal Meditation, available at Chapters and

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