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   Autumn, the beginning of the cycle. Christopher Hill once wrote suggesting that the dynamics of the fall of the year have the sweep of a great symphony or an epic poem; such as the poem “The Heart of Autumn” by Robert Atwan.

   There seems to be a sense for a call for balance from the Autumn air. The balance of light and darkness within us. Why should we only fear the dark? The noted writer Joyce Rupp once wrote and challenged us to befriend our inner darkness: “I gratefully acknowledge how darkness has become less of an enemy for me and more of a place of silent nurturance, where the slow, steady gestation needed for my soul’s growth can occur. Not only is light a welcomed part of my life, but I am also developing a greater understanding of how much I need to befriend my inner darkness.” The darkness can also be a place we learn to cope and start over just as the writer Gary Thorp suggests, we just might want to accept all situations where we are left in the dark without answers. Sometimes there is no remedy for our situation other than to begin from a point of absolute darkness.

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  Autumn; it is also a time of giving, sharing, letting go, a time to let go of the burden heaped up from the past, to relinquish, renounce, even to give up what we thought we couldn’t do without.  When we practice this generosity, we are open to all of these liberating qualities simultaneously. The trees give up their leaves so we should generously give away a part of ourselves and our time.  

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   Autumn also reminds us of the impermanence of everything, natures changing colors just as the changes we accept in life. “The poet Wallace Stevens once wrote, ‘Death is the mother of beauty.’ What those words say to me is that we cherish the beauty of a sunrise, of a New England autumn, of a relationship, of a child’s hug, precisely because those things will not be around forever and

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neither will we be around to enjoy them.”     


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