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    Note: Sr. Associate Tom Lewis is a founding board member of the Center and is developing a learning series for CSW called “The Sacred Earth.”

    Promises. We live on promises. And the promises of fall are all around us. It is thrilling to think of the changes ahead. The weather cools down as the trees complete their work season and show us a rainbow of colors. The water in the lakes and streams gets colder and more refreshing. Nature seems to be renewed in this time of transition as the animals prepare for the winter and hard times ahead.

    There is a tree that makes glad the city of Brevard—or me anyway. Everybody drives past but not everybody notices this tree. It’s a large maple on the corner by St. Timothy United Methodist Church. I don’t know what it is about that tree but it puts on its fall colors weeks before everything else. This year only half of it has turned. But it makes me glad when I see this—it is my promise of what lies ahead. The promise written in beauty.

    What is it that is so exciting about the change of seasons? It must be the beauty. But everyone doesn’t see that. You must SEE. Which is the basis of so much that enriches life. We see beauty and feel a swell of love inside like God sent us a birthday card, or said, “look at this…it’s for you”.

    Mary Oliver says it for me:

    “Every day
    I see or hear
    something
    that more or less
    kills me
    with delight, …”
    (from Mindful by Mary Oliver)

    And Irish poet John O’Donohue writes:

    We feel most alive in the presence of the beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul. … Beauty brings warmth, elegance and grandeur.
    (from Beauty: The invisible Embrace by John O’Donohue)

    We have never needed an injection of soul medicine more than now. Something that brings warmth and healing to souls deprived of human contact. We have social distanced, zoomed, stayed at home, worn masks, done virtual learning, even virtual church and school, all the while dealing with anxiety, fear, and loss. We are empty; we have a deficit. The promise is that beauty can heal. Beauty can lift us above the fray and give us hope. Beauty meets the needs of our soul. Pay attention and absorb every moment of grandeur that is coming at you as summer breaks into another glorious fall. May you be… “more or less killed with delight.

    -Tom Lewis

    photo credit: Pixabay on Pexels