Transition: A Moment in Autumn

Whenever you’re feeling lonely or sad, try going to the loft on a beautiful day and looking outside.  Not at the houses or the rooftops, but the sky.  As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you’ll know that you’re pure within and will find happiness once more.”  –Anne Frank

The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its door as early as in the spring.–Thoreau

It’s September 21st and therefore unofficially, or perhaps officially, fall.   Here in the Northeast there are very few signs–few red leaves sticking out like the lone grey hair on the head of a forty-year old–but the calendar says it’s fall.  The early a.m. says it’s fall, because a chill has replaced the steamy summer mornings.

The temperature is no longer an enemy–as in the summer when you barricade the doors shut and turn up (down?) the air conditioning.  Our air conditioner has been broken for three years now, so we’ve just partnered with the summer heat, pulling in the evening’s dousing of the day’s sun with a simple electric fan.

One of the many reasons I quit my job was because I was getting angry when seasons sped past in a blur.  Because I was in a typical climate-controlled office building, I lost the feeling that I was one with the winter, spring, summer or fall.  I’d rush out of my office building and into my car, also climate controlled, and then rush to make dinner in my house, also climate controlled, and then relied on the television to tell me how hot it was going to be the next day, although it didn’t matter really because I interacted with the weather maybe 30 minutes a day, at most.

So, now I sit outside briefly every day, so the days don’t escape me.  “Just stop right there!”  I tell the afternoon sun.  “You’re not disappearing on MY watch!”  And I take in the long shadows, the wafts of the evening breeze, the cool blades of grass.

The quotes above by Thoreau and Anne Frank tell us how lucky we are simply to be able to soak up a dram of nature, and doing so liberates us from any prison we happen to be in.  It frees us, indeed.  Thoreau’s quote speaks of being in an almshouse, yet being able to see the sky; Anne Frank’s quote is written as she is buried within four walls protecting her from a brutish political world from which she cannot escape.  Yet, the  mere sight of the sky gives her joy–the mere hope that one day, the sun will warm her again.

I would share my own experience outside today, because if I wanted to I could upload a short video, but if I’m concerned with preserving the moment, I miss the point of living in it.  I don’t want you to see my moment second hand, so there are no pictures in this post.   It would be better for you to look outside your own office window right now, or go outside into your own backyard, and mark the transition to this new season, today, this hour, this moment–before it’s too late.



  1. Catherine, thank you for this beautiful article. It touched my soul. I, too, am at a point in my life where I seek to rise above seeking God in literature, whether it is the bible or other spiritual and inspirational readings. I have turned to meditation twice a day on a good day, but at least once most days. I do not know of any other way to reach that beautiful place in the center of my being, where everything is serene and quiet, beyond thoughts, beyond good and bad, just profound peace. I call it my kingdom of heaven within. The challenge is to carry that peace into everyday life and into the night. Mindfulness has been helpful, practicing to stay and live in the moment. Blessings to you for writing this thoughtful blog.

  2. Catherine says:

    Thank you, Ruth, for your comment on this post and a couple of my other ones! I’ve had a bit of “blogger’s block” lately, but I’m glad that some of my words are making connections. It is fun to share experiences on our spiritual journeys.

  3. I am hoping your writer’s block will be resolved by the time the holidays come around. I would love to hear if and how you celebrate Advent and Christmas. Reading your insights is a delight. What a beautiful path you are on!

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