Autumn seems to be creeping up upon us, I was walking through the Churchyard on Sunday, it was a lovely warm ‘Indian Summer’ morning and I was surprised to see lots of shiny conkers lying in the grass, it may only be mid September as I write this, but already there are signs of the changing season all around us.
I love this time of year, the misty mornings that promise a brighter midday, the sensational palette of autumnal colours in the trees as they change from verdant green through shades of red and gold until finally falling to earth, even the nights drawing in, that holds the promise of cosy fires and hot chocolate (while not really worrying about the calories as the skimpy summer clothes are now being put away for the winter).
I was really lucky, a couple of years ago, I went to the Seychelles and was able to visit a natural rainforest habitat. It was really interesting that some people were hiking purposefully through the rainforest, determined to see everything there was to see in double quick time and others strolling enjoying the sights and sounds of the rainforest. What fascinated me most, and this might sound really strange, was the detritus on the floor of the rainforest. There were leaves and flowers, seed-pods and husks all in differing states of decay. Not only were they incredibly beautiful, but they also offered a habitat for all sorts of animals and insects. It was a real ‘circle of life’ experience. The dead foliage offering new life for other creatures and then when they decayed totally, their nutrients nourished the vibrant green trees, gigantic versions of plants that I struggle to grow as houseplants.
It reminded me, that sometimes our lives can be a little bit like a trip to the rainforest. On some days we are striding through, determined and looking forwards and ahead, our eyes fixed firmly on the next thing to see, and at other times we are content to wander, waiting to see what life will bring us next. And at some sad times we are faced with decay and death. But in all of these experiences God is with us, God is not only in the bright green tree canopy full of life, but in the quiet times too and when we are faced with the hardest times, when it may be hard to see beyond the decay, God is still there. God can be working unseen miracles that bring new life, maybe not the life that we wanted or expected, but given time and looking carefully God can show us something beautiful.
If you would like to talk to someone at any of these times in your life, please don’t hesitate to contact me and perhaps we can explore the rainforest of life together.