A New Season
The orchard labyrinth is one of my favourite spots in The Bield and I particularly love this wild space at this time of year when the grasses and seed heads stand tall in the stillness of the afternoon peace. The restlessness of summer with its long days and endless invitations to be outside and live each moment fully is now giving way to the slower season of autumn. All of that wonderful energy from sunshine and light is manifest in the heavy harvest of apples, pears, brambles and plums. The abundance of apples weighs down the branches and slows my pace as I walk the labyrinth, stopping to gaze often at such a blessed crop. Wasps drunk on the fruits return again and again to a slowly rotting windfall. There is a peacefulness in the air, like a long sigh out. The growing season is coming to an end and now it's time to gather in . The year is turning once again; night is falling sooner, drawing a comforting blanket over the grounds and an invitation to draw the curtains, light a candle and currie in with a good book or indulge in an early night’s rest. The mornings are cooler and fresher and a sparkling dew turns the front lawn into a smooth lake.
The holiday traffic on the A9 is lessening as the English schools start up again this week and anxious (or maybe relieved) parents leave their young adult children at the universities in Dundee and St Andrews. I,too, am embarking on a new season as I've been invited to join the pastoral team here at The Bield. I'm delighted to have this opportunity to be here every second week, alternating with Valerie in offering spiritual accompaniment to any guests who wish to talk, accompanying guests at meal times, leading the Wednesday chapel service as well as the Thursday imaginative contemplation session. I've been coming to The Bield as a guest for the past four years and have been nourished, inspired and challenged so much by this incarnational place. For the past 9 months I've been a volunteer with the pastoral team as I completed my training in Spiritual Accompaniment with the Ignatian Centre in Glasgow. This is the start of a new routine for me, a new term and I feel the apprehension and excitement that accompanies any new transition but I know that the blessings of The Bield and all the wonderful staff who work here will support and strengthen me in my new role. I offer up this prayer by the American writer, Joyce Rupp, for myself and everyone else who is facing a new transition this September.
A Time of Happy Transition
Delight of my heart
Your joy echoes in my life
I relish this happy transition
Now shaping my days
With welcoming path before me
I receive the promise of a new vista
The benediction of an open road
The pledge of an unfolding adventure
Breath of Freshness
My spirit expands and revives
I taste the air of happiness
And breathe in welcomed newness.
You stir up hope filled dreams
Restore my belief in all that is good
You draw me toward contentment
And open the door to deeper trust.
How blessed is this passage of time
When confidence pervades my spirit
And peace permeates my mind
I move forward with assurance.
Carry me in your abiding love .
Thank you for leading me closer
To that which encourages my growth.
Source of Joy
You give me the gift of gladness
Thanks you for this blessed transition
And the chance to enter life more fully.