The season is a changing….

Posted on September 23, 2021 by Rev. Pam Reidy under grief, loss, mourning
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Lessons from the bittersweet

Yesterday marked the end of summer and the beginning of Autumn.  This seasonal change marks the time when the Northern and Southern hemispheres change places and the earth tilts so the north receives less warmth from the sun and the south receives more. With the shifting tilt of earth’s axis we also have less light, shortening our days.  It’s a hard transition for many as evidenced by the amount of money spent on commodities for “seasonal affect disorder,” appropriately coined  SAD.

Though I don’t suffer from SAD, I sure am unhappy to see those long summer evenings disappear.  This has never been my favorite time of year, mostly because I don’t welcome change; most people don’t. Change would be easier if we knew the future, too much unpredictability and unfamiliarity can be challenging. For the more adventurous among us, it is exciting, but for the timid of heart, change can be downright frightening.

Change is one of the more unsettling things when mourning the loss of someone we are close to, especially a soulmate or someone with whom we have lived.  Recently a new widow told me, “I was always sympathetic to other women who lost their husbands, but really until my husband died, I had no idea at all what it’s like.”  The copious changes wrought in a life without him is nothing she imagined.

Mercy By the Sea, a retreat house in Madison, Connecticut recently sent its subscribers an equinox prayer ritual. In it they offered some wonderful reflection questions for those experiencing a recent loss:

  • As a new season moves in, what “quiet changes” or stirrings are sending their signals to you to let go?
  •  How are you being called to continue to evolve/grow/transform during this “inner season?”
  •  What might you harvest from the plenitude and fruits your life holds?


As with all matters of the heart, grief is exhausting, so be gentle with yourself.  If you resist change, if not knowing the future is fearsome, be gentle with yourself.  But do take advantage of Mother Nature’s lessons in the Autumnal Equinox.

Maker of the Seasons, thank you for all that autumn teaches me. Change my focus so that I see not only what I am leaving behind, but also the harvest and the plenitude that my life holds. May my heart grow freer and my life more peaceful as I resonate with, and respond to, the many teachings this season offers to me.

The Circle of Life by Joyce Rupp & Macrina Wiederkehr

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