For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)
I’m sitting on an elevated porch tucked away in the backwoods of Maine. The deck suspends us safely some however-many feet above the ground. The plant boxes supporting colorful life along the edge of the deck and the picnic table upon which I sit and write are crafted from rough-hewn wood.
Beyond the deck are trees and shrubbery of more varieties than I could name. Trunks that are thick, slim, healthy, dying, split, sturdy, leaning, have branches protruding in endless directions and angles.
The wind is silent, but I can see its effects on the branches, swaying about, making the leaves dance carefreely while creating a calming tune. There’s green all around me; various shades on either side of life and death.
Then there’s The Leaf. It’s full-figured and cautious in its dance at the end of its shared branch. I wonder, in its top-most position, if it feels responsible for the wellbeing of all the leaves below it. Does it concern itself with sharing what bits of light reaches them under the taller trees around it?
Does it notice the brown creeping into its vitality even as it flaps about where the wind desires? Does it know about the looming changes ahead in these next few months, if it makes it that far into the future? Will it welcome its transformation, embracing the artful and vibrant palette all around it?
Will it let go of its life-giving branch when the season beckons for its release?
There’s a season for everything. Give us the wisdom to know when and where we are in your time. Give us the courage to respond accordingly. Amen.
The Rev. Phiwa Langeni is the Founder/Director of Salus Center (the first LGBTQ Resource & Community Center in Lansing, MI) and Pastor of Salus Center UCC & First Congregational UCC – Ypsilanti. They are a parent, speaker, writer, transitional coach, designer, and low-key fashion head.