My favourite season of the year is always the season we are presently in.   To put this in context I am privileged to live here at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre on 600 acres of beautiful farmland, marshland, bush and woodlands through which flows the Marden Creek meandering towards and into the Speed River that borders several kilometers of the property.

Each season here has its own unique beauty.  So my favourite season is always the one we are in right now.   As I write we are in the early days of autumn.  The variety of Maples and other hardwood trees are now exchanging their green robes for their brilliant festive colours; various shades of reds, oranges and yellows.

Soon comes the time when the winds send leaves swirling and falling to blanket the cooling earth and make walking in the woods a playful swishing adventure.  That will be the transition season which stirs in me a nostalgia for my younger days when it was the transitioning from baseball to football the two sports I enjoy watching but in my younger days loved to play.

Autumn of course brings with cooling temperatures the foreboding of winter.   A number of years ago however I made a conscious choice to welcome winter as a friend that challenges me to stand tall and be strong.  Surprisingly this choice has helped me love both seasons.  None the less I have a mixture of feelings from the comfort of the remaining warm days to shivering as l reluctantly shift into warmer wear.

The redwing blackbirds have left for warmer climates leaving the marsh next to my Little House still and silent.  The robins are also gone.  However the cardinals and blue jays continue to show off their bright colours and their various calls.  A few days ago in nearby Riverside Park I saw a flock of some twenty turkey vultures silently soring around in a magnificent air ballet, now sweeping low close to the river then spiraling upwards with amazing speed and grace.  It seemed they were having a final celebration here before leaving toward the south.   In contrast a few fragile monarch butterflies are still flitting about and I wonder if they have been left behind by the fast majority that have already begun the long trip to Mexico.

Personally I have no desire to be anywhere else than right here enjoy this (for now) my favourite season of the year.

Bill Clarke, SJ, is a member of the team of spiritual directors at Loyola House of Ignatius Jesuit Centre of Guelph and continues his commitment to L'Arche.

  • Peter Bisson
    Posted at 09:41h, 05 November Reply

    Thank you Bill!

  • Dee Sproule
    Posted at 09:58h, 05 November Reply

    Love and appreciate your attitude, Bill!

  • Pauline Mary Theresa Lally
    Posted at 11:20h, 05 November Reply

    .. and that’s how I feel, too.

  • Lisa Calzonetti
    Posted at 11:26h, 05 November Reply

    Beautiful imagery…..many reasons to be content and in the moment.

  • Grace C.
    Posted at 14:30h, 05 November Reply

    Thank you for your beautiful descriptions of your autumn events.

  • Paul v
    Posted at 06:58h, 06 November Reply

    Over the years I have often commented to friends that I can’t wait for the snow… always responded to with grimaces… somehow this too has prepared me for enjoying winter….

  • Eric Jensen
    Posted at 15:47h, 08 November Reply

    Beautiful and beautifully written, Bill.

    You should write more!


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