Round and round the earth is turning
turning always into morning
and from morning round to night.
Those are the words to a little song we learned to sing in elementary school. I've been thinking about it this week as autumn is making her presence felt. In the morning there is darkness until it's time to leave for work and the shadows begin to lengthen before supper is even on the table. There's a chill in the air and last night the furnace roared to life for the first time since March.
Every year the approaching winter – it's scarcity of light and warmth – becomes a little bit more of a struggle for me. So, that little song has been on my mind.
Since I am powerless to change the season, my only option is to change myself.
Maybe what I need is a new perspective. The way I'm accustomed to thinking about the seasons is by the movement and circling that the Earth reveals. It's simple to see how the seasons move round and round but maybe there's another way to understand – perhaps the seasons are the Earth's rhythm of breathing in and breathing out.
In the Spring, the world could be beginning to breathe in. There is a collective lightness – a time when the Earth expands, a time when the soul broadens and widens. New life is drawn inward. Upward. Outward.
Perhaps Fall is just the Earth exhaling. There is a turning. A coming home. A restful quiet. In a certain sense there is a dying of expectation and an anticipation of some kind of inward work that will rest, strengthen and prepare us to take a new breath again in a few months time.
Right now, I'm feeling the need to get back to the most basic things that are fulfilling and life giving. I need to pray. To breathe. To meditate. To listen. To be gentle with myself and, most importantly, return to the source of my hope:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– Romans 8: 38-39
Breathe in. Breathe out.