Slideshow image


By Rev. Jim Innes

Autumn leaves are falling, filling up the streets; golden colors on the lawn, nature's trick or treat!"

- Rusty Fischer

 Why do leaves wither and fall from trees?

Science explains that photosynthesis would be impossible to manage if layered by the frozen waters of winter, and the weight would cause significant breakage.

Secondly, the thin, industrious leaves are, by summer's end, depleted, insect-eaten, diseased, or otherwise beaten up. As they are let drop, a regeneration cycle is activated. At the same time, the nutrients from the decay are released back to the earth.

At my seasoned (yet youthful) age of 65, leaves have begun to drop. It is a slightly somber and vulnerable experience in which I find a paradox, a sense of being driven and timeworn, opposite sides of the same coin dated 1958.

Sixty-five is an age of transition. There is an inherent 'letting go,' a dropping of the used-up and tattered leaves, aspects of ourselves that don't work anymore. An essential process for the budding of new life.

"There is something so special in the early leaves drifting from the trees – as if we are all to be allowed a chance to peel, to refresh, to start again."

- Ruth Ahmed

The early leaves drift away, and the 'letting go' is a time of settlement, completing a cycle. Although it doesn't happen all at once, we ease into a place of quiet waiting, a bare-bones exposure to what's next.

The 'Letting go' is not only a manner of self-preservation but a necessary phase in renewing our place in the bigger picture. It is no longer what it once was.

Should we hold tight, 'let go' only when we see no other way, perhaps. But the rains will come, the wind will howl, and what is to be will be. Despite any and all fearful persistence, our rebirth, our revival, will begin.

The soon-to-fall leaf spinning weakly in the breeze knocks the breath from me. It is so real, so undeniably helpless. There is no running, negotiating, angry outbursts, or sorrowful tears that will stop the life cycle from being fulfilled. It reminds me of a verse from Ecclesiastes; you'll know it…

"For everything, there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted."

As I see it, fear gives way to Hope, and Hope gives way to joy. Joy is followed closely by an acceptance warmly wrapped in a soul-full peace, a harmony that transcends all understanding.

"I think the seasons complete me-

for once autumn comes

I can fall freely

along with every leave.

I do not have to bloom,

yet, I must die

in every delicate line of October" 

-Laura Chouette

Rev. Jim Innes is the rector of St. John's, Grand Bend with St. Anne's, Port Franks.