Change. Say it soft and it’s almost like puking.
I used to dread Autumn.
About thirty years ago (college era) Seasonal Affective Disorder dawned in me. My love for distinctive Midwestern seasons got complicated.
Since then, good support and meds have helped attune me to my holistic health, but I’d be lying if I said the 4th quarter was easy.
I trust I’m not alone with clinical depression and a sense of guarding my emotional health when the weather turns cold and dark.
In the Midwestern USA where I’m from, there is no more intense earth season than fall to enact the disruptive, beautiful prospect of transformative change.
All through autumn we hear a double voice:
one says everything is ripe;
the other says everything is dying.
The paradox is exquisite.
– Gretel Ehrlich
In the psalms, life comes naturally in waves, and each one is faithful unto itself. Right now, you may be in a season of great joy. Enjoy it; it will pass. You may be in the midst of freaked-out fear. Hang on; something different is on its way.
In 12 days, I’m hosting a free/tip call-in class called Deep Change and the Psalms: Navigating the Intensity of Harvest Time, and you’re all invited.
Is it possible to accept a life that includes melancholia? Can we prepare for seasons of disruptive change and frame them as good? Or at least understand them so we can make the best of them?
What I’m calling “Darkening Sky” spirituality is a psalm-centered faith. This is theology that honors our most intense moments of transition, acknowledging God smack in the middle of whatever slow-mo rotating stage we’re on.
The parts of life we judge as intolerably dire straits the psalms name holy. As my psalmentor Rev. Dr. Clint McCann says, these moments of honest suffering are not good, but normal. See also Ecclesiastes 3 and Jesus’ mystical ministry of disrupting pretty much every life he encountered.
Need some courage? Here are a few psalm-songs that might be good company for your holy life that might feel like it’s unraveling: (Note: these are NOT cheer-up songs, but psalm-honest cries for what’s happening in you).
- Desert Blues (Psalm 63)
- When We Are Afraid (Psalm 56)
- Hear My Cry, O God (Psalm 61)
- A Life of Trust (Psalm 40)
- It’s a New Day (Psalm 104) (okay, this one’s a bit happy)
As summer moves into autumn, we know earth seasons will turn as they always have. It’s something we know, but sometimes do not wish to allow.
Here’s to allowing change to ripen what’s in our heart-gardens, that Gretel Ehrlich’s exquisite season would bring us to fullness before moving into the next.
Register now for Deep Change and the Psalms: Navigating the Intensity of Harvest Time.