November… Bleak, yet Beautiful

November... Bleak, yet Beautiful SEEK Safely

Sr. Joan’s wisdom stirs me once again, as the darkness of November days seep into my mind and heart. Suddenly, it is dark at 5:00 pm and my energy is sapped. The first heavy frost has wiped out the last of my flowers; everything feels grey.

And yet Thanksgiving will soon fill our homes with love and gratitude. Christmas and holiday lights will soon brighten our evenings. The wood stove will warm our bones urging us to snuggle up at home. It is peaceful. And I can be quieter and restful. I can greet this time to reflect. The end of this year will usher in the beginning of a new one, full of potential and promise.

Sr. Joan’s words remind me that I cannot control the passage of the seasons, but I can be open to a rhythm that opens up growth opportunities in the simple passage of time. I have learned that railing against what is certain–aging, change, death, struggles–only leads to anger, resentment, fear, and depression, robbing me of peace and the ability to see beauty and feel joy.  We are all  challenged to choose peace, beauty and joy. Happy November!

Sr. Joan Chittister shares a reflection:
“A thousand deaths
In the East, at least, November is a sear month, beautiful for its bleakness. The skies hang grey and heavy, the wind gnaws and bellows. Life changes drastically from the velvet days of early autumn. The things we love begin to die right before our eyes. The roses begin to shrivel on the bush, the sun draws away, the colors around us start to darken. Then the streets get quieter and the neighbors disappear inside their houses and the days darken before the light has had time to seep through the mist of morning. The earth rests.
It is a time of great life learning: We learn that we cannot control the passage of time in life. We learn to accept each of the stages of life with serenity. We learn to look to new moments in life with hope rather than despair. We learn that the opposite of life is not death; it is fear. We learn to see death as a necessary part of life…”         


Photo credit: Neil Tackaberry on Flickr



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