Autumn’s Pilgrimage

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.

Wendell Berry

Autumn offers an invitation to make an inner soujourn… a pilgrimage to explore the terrain and landscape of the heart and soul.  This is the season that has been referred to as melancholic, nostalgic, the season of souvenir. I find autumn to be fecund with abundance for the spirit.  It’s a time for harvesting aspects of life that are rich and plentiful with possibility. This particular kind of harvest results from creative and spiritual efforts extended throughout the previous seasons.

When the leaves begin to fall from the trees I am reminded to look at my life for those facets of my outlook that  no longer serve a Higher purpose or vision.  I ask…. What am I ready to release and let go of?  What is ripe for the harvest? How shall I share the abundance I am blessed with?

My inner pilgrimage begins when the daylight hours wane and the evening hours lengthen.  My journal becomes a log book of sorts.  I make notes in the margins like a mariner’s reference points to mark the swift passage from autumn to winter.  Late afternoon walks in nature feed my soul while I observe Creation arranging herself in myriad ways for the change that has arrived while no one was watching.

The red squirrels with their curled furry tails frantically hurry from branch to rooftop then race down the gutter spout.  Something within them is saying, “Prepare your house!  Get ready!”  Geese fly in their ancient V formation overhead.  They often soar over the house at night.  They plaintively call to one another, lest one of the flock should be lost in the dark velvet sky.  The same Voice that guides the creatures and birds to get ready for change, is available to me.  I seek God’s guidance in the stillness of early morning and throughout the day.  Little by little I prepare my inner world for whatever is coming.

Signs.  There are signs of change everywhere.  Meanwhile, the world is changing and evolving day by day.  Globally we’re on a pilgrimage headed towards unknown places.  Everything is moving through a portal of transformation it seems and often this movement is unsettling, disorienting, chaotic and challenging.

This autumn I pray for courage to embrace the mystery of change in all its complexity.  I long to seek the hidden beauty within the ensuing darkness.  In the depths of not knowing and at the threshold of change there lies waiting the opportunity for both subtle and profound transformation. This is the place I’m seeking…. this unknown shore is the destination for my autumn pilgrimage.


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