It’s Fall, y’all!
It is unmistakably autumn.
We’ve now had the distinct plummet of temperature and many of us have turned on our heating systems, at least once, by now.
The transition of seasons from summer to fall always feels more abrupt to me than its tandem transition from winter to spring. Spring teases with a “quickening”, a hint or scent or wisp of color, earthiness, or warmth to come. Autumn teases as well, but it may be that we are less eager for the shortening days and the encroaching faded dormancy of nature after the vibrancy and vitality of summer.
My responsibility with you over the next few months is formally defined in my contract as Transition minister. My task is to accompany you through the sometimes messy and uncomfortable process of discerning what might come next for UU Manchester. This is a period of awakening, creativity, exploration. And, it is also a period of disrupting the regular order so the hopes and visions and possibilities have the freedom to rise to the surface.
Transition is both a noun and a verb. Transition is a dismantling process that is required to move from one reality into another. To transition is to seek the courage to stay in the work, even when we want to give up. It requires us to draw upon our shared wisdom to create or discover something new together.
In our worship service about Rosh Hashanah, we touched briefly on the complexity of Awe, naming the fear and magnitude that is the root of “awe-someness”. This understanding of awe can also symbolize the experience of transition.
Polly Campbell writes “Awe changes us. We are broken open by it. It forces us to rethink things. To tweak our behaviors and choices. To move toward things that matter. Awe helps us to live with the mystery in life, to survive the uncertainty of it all.”
Transitions are sometimes bumpy and complicated, but they eventually settle into a new rhythm with its own unique blessings.
Likewise, the autumn season, especially in this part of the country, has its own beauty in the foliage colors and the final harvests of apples and winter squashes and other late season crops. The tactile experiences of color and scent and chill that emerge from this transition can be both breathtaking and awe-inspiring – opening us up to appreciation and gratitude.
We will explore these aspects of Awe and transition more deeply in the coming weeks together.
Yours in faith,