A Season of Gratitude
This is the season of thanksgiving, a time to give thanks for the harvest. But this thankfulness goes deeper than just having what we need. It is a reminder to be grateful, to live in a spirit of gratitude.
The autumn is a time that for me evokes various and sometimes conflicting emotions. It marks the end of the summer and warm weather; the birds are flying south, the trees lose their rich foliage, the warm breezes turn into cold winds. Fall is a time of seemingly sudden change — overnight it seems the trees have changed colour and then after another night the leaves are gone and the tree branches stand bare.
This time of year also brings back memories of taking our children to university as they began a new year of school and a new stage of life. After leaving them at school, I was left with the long drive home, knowing that life was changing as they struck out on their own.
Overnight lives change. But yet it is through this change that new life emerges. Jesus said, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain, but if it dies it bears much fruit.” [John 12:24]. We may view the Fall as a time of looking back at what was, but the season also points us forward to what will be.
It is with a spirit of gratitude that we can look forward with hope to the Spring that lies ahead. A spirit of gratitude can also show us the beauty of a crisp Fall day and even the snow that blankets the land in winter. I give thanks that we live in a part of the world that experiences the seasons the way we do here. The rhythms of the seasons echo the rhythms of life — the life, death, and rebirth.
As I clean up my garden, reaping the harvest from this year, I also look to the promise of a year ahead. Through it all, enjoying the last colourful burst of the trees as they say their “auf wiedersehen” (until we see you again), I give thanks to the Creator, in gratitude for the presence of God in and through all that is around me.