We usually think of the beginning of March as the start of Autumn here in New Zealand. On Saturday I was at Waiau for confessions at the Church. Autumn has arrived in the Hurunui.
While we appreciate the colourful autumn decline in the trees, the autumn years of human life are not considered as attractive.
Perhaps this suggests that we can still read the language that the trees (and nature) is about life. Life moves to death, and from the dead winter branch comes the new life of spring. We do not fear death when the leaves begin to fall from the trees.
However we may have forgotten the language that the human body is about God. We taste death when the hair turns grey, the wrinkles deepen and the joints ache. We use lotions and potions to hide these ‘signs of decline’.
Yet these ‘signs of decline’ are in fact reminders of the hope-filled journey we are making toward eternal happiness with God.
One of the great pieces of human poetry, studied by many of us at school, is John Keats “Ode to Autumn”.
Take a moment to appreciate the beauty. Don’t try to understand the poem, just relax and listen.