A Special Invitation

“Coming Up on September” Marge Piercy

White butterflies, with single / black fingerpaint eyes on their wing,
dart and settle, eddy and mate / over the green tangle of vines
in Labor Day morning steam.
The year grinds into ripeness / and rot, grapes darkening,
pears yellowing, the first / Virginia creeper twining crimson,
the grasses, dry straw to burn.
The New Year rises, beckoning— / across the umbrellas on the sand.
I begin to reconsider my life. / What is the fruit of my resolve?
I turn from my frantic white dance / over the jungle of productivity
and slowly a niggun slides, / cold water down my throat. / I rest on a leaf spotted red.
Now is the time to let the mind / search backwards like a raven loosed
to see what can feed us. Now, / the time to cast the mind forward
to chart an aerial map of the months.
The New Year is a great door / that stands across the evening and Yom
Kippur is the second door. Between / them are song and silence, stone and
clay pot to be filled from within myself. / I will find there both ripeness and rot,
what I have done and undone, / what I must let go with the waning days
and what I must take in. With the last / tomatoes, we harvest the fruit of our lives.

September has come and may be almost gone, but as Marge Piercy’s poem reminds us, this rich time of year comes with a special invitation.  Some of us are back in school.  Some of us are taking on new projects and challenges.  Some of us are managing health issues and concerns. Some of us are settling back in after a season of travel.  Some of us are watching the autumn light brighten up the world around us in a new way.  We each come to this season from different situations and circumstances.  And we are each invited, during this season, to reconsider our lives.  “What is the fruit of our resolve?”  What do we bring with us that can feed us and nourish us on the journey ahead?  What do we envision for the days before us?  How are you taking care of your tender spirit?  What do you need to sustain your soul? 

Within this season—and within our lives—we will find places of both ripeness and rot.  Things that are juicy and ready to fortify us.  And things that we may need to discard or compost in order to find our path.  This is a fertile, abundant, lavish time—a time to take in and a time to let go—a time to remember our blessings—and a time to plan for our future.  As we welcome in the beauty of this season, let us also be mindful to welcome in the stranger, the seeker, the outcast, the forgotten.  We have many blessings to share!

See you in church,


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