An autumn psalm

Friday’s exciting exploits hit me 48 hours later, and I am exhausted. But this is a good thing, because I am just hit with exhaustion, and not with the heart and breathing symptoms I often get in an ME relapse. I am hoping this will be a small dip that I can ride out. I’m doing a whole lot of lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. I should be better-practiced at this art of doing so little, but I suck at it. I am always wanting to do MORE. Would you pray that I rest well and my body heals well?

In the meantime, here is a psalm on autumn I wrote as a reflection exercise for my Story 201 course, meditating on the hidden beauty of change and loss, and a delicious photo that my husband took, starring the beautiful hands of my son. And some conkers (horse chestnuts). For me, this sings of autumn.

Praise the Lord.
Praise the God of summer and bloom;
Praise the God of autumn and shrivelled leaves.
He calls the dying foliage to glory and colour;
The trees to open their palms and reveal their weighty fruit.
The squirrels scurry and gather,
The birds squabble in the trees,
And beneath a carpet of red and yellow and brown
There are ants and slugs making stores for winter in the secrets of the undergrowth .
The Lord presides over the scurrying and the gathering;
He watches over the floating of the dying leaf as it falls to the ground in splendour.
The Lord is there in the bringing in and the letting go,
The clustering and the unfurling.
He breathes his goodness into my harvesting and into my yielding.
He is still light as the nights lengthen and the shadows come.
Praise the Lord, the God of autumn
Praise Him, the writer of all our days.
Over to you:

  • What signs of autumn/fall are you rejoicing in this week?
  • I wrote this psalm after meditating on Psalm 104:1-6, 10-16. If you like, you can write your own psalm, reflecting on how nature teaches you about God. Link to your post or add your poem in the comments.


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16 Responses to An autumn psalm

  1. Cathy 10th October, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Love this…

    • Tanya 17th October, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      Thank you, Cathy, I’m shyly proud of it! 🙂

  2. Liz Eph 10th October, 2013 at 11:04 am #

    ripe fruit

    spring rains, summer sun
    bundled energy, capsuled vitamins
    stored in red green and gold packaging
    for easy handling and fresh consumption
    customer warning : may contain nuts and seeds

    here’s my effort. thanks for cheering up my day and letting my imagination give the rest of my brain a break. xx

    • Tanya 17th October, 2013 at 9:34 am #

      Thank you for this! I really enjoyed it. There’s something about poetry, isn’t there?

  3. Rebecka 9th October, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    Oh Tanya, how beautiful!
    I love this time of year, the crisp air and the beautiful leaves. What I don’t like is lying in bed, doing nothing. Wanting to do more is a feeling I’m all too familiar with. I’m praying for you.

    • Tanya 17th October, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Thank you, Rebecka! I feel your frustration. ME sucks. Sending you much love. Xx

  4. Tricia 9th October, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Love thism Tanya. I have a fabulous tree in the garden that is glorious at the moment. Must share a photo.
    Praying that you will rest in The Lord x

    • Tanya 17th October, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      Thank you, Tricia! And do share the photo!

  5. Mark Allman 9th October, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    I am praying that you are getting good rest and are healing soon. I enjoyed your post today.

    • Tanya 17th October, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      Thank you, Mark – and especially for your prayers.

  6. Alison Whale 9th October, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Beautiful Psalm Tanya. I am looking out of my window at the horse chestnut tree at the bottom of our garden and the leaves turning. And thinking about finding God in my ‘yielding’ and ‘letting go’ even though I am not doing it willingly! You sound like me in your intro. I am forever feeling I should be better at at doing nothing and feeling lousy after so many years of practice – that I should be calm and peaceful and prayerful and saintly (which means calm and peaceful, not angry and sad, right?) as I stare at the ceiling instead of raging and upset again. But when you write that you ‘suck at it’, I want to reply: ‘You don’t suck, IT sucks.’ and it is ok not to be ok with it (and I am very encouraged that I am not alone in feeling that way!)

    • Tanya 17th October, 2013 at 9:31 am #

      Thanks SO much for this – it was so helpful to hear that I’m not alone in struggling with resting well.

  7. Jamie 9th October, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    I love this. Beautiful imagery.
    Praying you get the rest and recovery you need. 🙂

    • Tanya 17th October, 2013 at 9:31 am #

      Thanks, Jamie. I’m really glad you stopped by.

  8. Jennifer Upton 9th October, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    I had a feeling that you were referring to chestnuts when you used the word “conkers.” Last Friday when I visited the monastery, they had a grove of chestnut trees. I had never seen -that before. There was an “u-pick” sign and if I knew what to do with chestnuts I would have picked a basket full.

    • Tanya 9th October, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      Conkers are totally the autumn ritual here! They’re horse chestnuts, not chestnuts, so you can’t eat them. You put a skewer through them while they’re still off the tree and firm but skewer-able, then put them in oven and bake till hard. Then you thread string through the hole and knot it, so you have your conker on a bit of string. Then you take it into school and play conkers – ie you get yours and try and smash the other person’s. the one who has a conker left at the end of it is the winner. (Except nowadays most conker games have been banned from schools, because of health and safety.)

      Chestnuts, on the other hand, are edible and I always associate them with advent. You score a cross in the bottom of them, and cook them in a hot oven (or roast them on an open fire, just like the song), and while they are still hot, you peel off the outer skin, revealing a nutty inner part that looks a bit like a brain. YUM.

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