This is my first day in the new office and what a beautiful God-given day it is! What a pleasure it is to set up an office on a splendid October morning (or not set it up and spend your time writing instead, as the case may be). For me October is a time of settling in, probably thanks to many years of schooling I’ve been conditioned to expect change and new beginnings in the fall. Many kids are getting settled into new classes with new and old faces and new and old teachers (though a little later than usual in B.C. this year) and that means many parents are settling in to new routines, figuring out bus schedules and lunch menus. For many adults their jobs are ramping up as well, new projects really start to hit the ground and recently graduated hires are starting to understand what they have been hired to do. Many in retail are beginning their prep work for the smorgasbord that is Christmas and others are adjusting to the first fall they haven’t had to go to work, or school. Others still, are transforming their children’s rooms into exercise rooms and painting studios as they look to fill the whole created by the child gone off to school or whatever adventure they are now old enough to partake in. This is true of my family this year as we settle into a new house and a new town and a new job and a new routine, and for my older son a new pre-school in Duncan B.C. a long way from Montreal.
For me though, the fall is the right time for such a move. I love the fall, the crispness in the air, the colors on the trees, the cool morning that make my runs so much more enjoyable, and the wonderfully tasty foods coming in from the apple tree in my yard and the farmer’s market down the road. I also like that fall reminds me of God’s great plan for the world. The death we see around us as the harvest comes in, the trees lose their foliage, and the fields are put to bed for the winter, is all a precursor to next spring’s flowers and next year’s harvest. Just as the death of Jesus on the cross is the precursor to an ever more beautiful future of grace, peace and love.
Below is a poem I read every fall by one of the only poets I can be bothered to read, if you haven’t heard of him I suggest you look him up he’s won significant awards for poetry, novels, short stories, and essays…oh and he lives on and runs a farm.
By Wendell Berry
Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over the fall fields, we name names
that went west from here,
names that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
(From Collected Poems, 1957-1982, North Point Press, 1987)
Please note I will try to update this musings section of the website about once a week. Thanks for reading.
Adriana Van Duyvendyk
Welcome to Darling Duncan. I know you will love it here – I know I did. Stayed 15 years and it was the best ministry ever. Hope you can spend the time and visit every household and really get to know these fine people. They will become your family and will be there for you at all times. Blessing to you and your family as you start in the ministry at St. Andrews.