1st September 2012

When I contemplate the coming fall, I feel both the sadness of goodbyes, and the gratitude for things that do not change. The pleasure that the departing hummingbirds (that buzzed at my feeder all summer) took with them, is replenished by the magnificence of the yearly murmuration of starlings, or by the busy chatter of sparrows side by side on a denuded weeping willow bush branch. They will be our companions throughout the winter. This is no small compensation for the truth communicated by nature that life must go on; that one cannot live in the past; that what has been built must itself be engaged in the next cycle of life. The fresh challenge each new day brings is the guarantee that we live for a purpose beyond our yesterdays. That life does not stop at our whim makes us more honest and humble. Yet, beholding it as observers makes us responsible to safeguard it with all our powers.

The poignancy of departures at this time of year are thus met by the discovery of new adventures, and by the achievements of those who dare to risk the journey into unknown tomorrows. Do well, all those of you pressed to take hold of your next steps. I pray that your labor will be amply met by God’s encouragement, and by his empowering of your gift. Use it well, and let it flourish for the betterment of all.


Dedicated to Olivia