Finding God Through the Autumn Leaves

autumn leaves in purple, red, and yellow - photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

It is autumn. The leaves have changed, and the wind has a slight chill, reminding us of what will come. Autumn is God’s way of calling us to attention: Wake up! Stay awake! Be prepared!

Let us claim the colors of autumn in our lives. Brown holds for us stability, protection, endurance, and simplicity. Red holds for us passion, determination, love, and adventure. Orange holds balance, warmth, and freedom from our inner prisons, and magenta holds harmony. Finally, purple in autumn leaves prompts our vast imaginations, depths of spirituality, transformation, and wisdom. The new colors of the autumn leaves are but a glimpse into the richness and diversity of the loving life moments God has in store for us. So stay awake, and be present to all that really matters.

God has even gifted us the trees to remind us to stand tall and reach for God. They remind us to stay awake by being mindful of what is right in front of us. We may also practice this through the Examen, stillness and silence, or gratitude to stay spiritually awake and aware.

My parents taught me to give thanks to God for my daily bread. They also taught me to show gratitude when I receive gifts from others. However, sometimes I forget that thanksgiving should not only be practiced during the moments I get what I want, but even when I don’t. It is sometimes difficult to give thanks during moments in our lives when things aren’t going according to plan, and we feel that we have been cheated or given the short end of the stick. It is so easy to forget to give thanks for the gift of a new day. But that new day is a chance to reach out to those we love and even those who might need to know they are loved. It is a chance to enjoy and give thanks for good food, great friends, and wonderful family, even from a distance, and a chance to turn around and say, “Thank you, Jesus. I am well now in more ways than one.”

My friends, what are you thankful for this day? Speak those things aloud, write them down, reflect on them, remember them, and keep smiling about them, because when we fill our minds and hearts with gratitude, there will be no room for worry; gratitude and worry cannot share the same space in our hearts and minds. Yes, let us stay awake and present to all that really matters.

Autumn invites us to think about our expectations of others and ourselves. Autumn reminds us that God is with us. As the leaves change and fall, we are reminded that we will change, we will transform, and we will fall into God’s arms to wait for something new and wonderful to happen in our lives. During this time of waiting and longing for the birth of something extraordinary in our lives, whatever that may be, let us spend time preparing our hearts and renewing our spirits. It is in our longing and waiting that we encounter God. It is in our emptiness that we remember God’s whispers of love and courage.

Let go like the falling leaves, and let God surprise you.

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.

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Vivian Amu has served as a sacristan, Baptism coordinator, and wedding coordinator for St. John’s Catholic Church, a Jesuit-run parish, for 19 years. She was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society of Jesuit universities, and Alpha Iota Sigma, a leadership honor society, in 2022. She has a master’s degree in integrative health and wellness from Creighton University. She is currently a doctoral student at Creighton University, studying interdisciplinary leadership. She is also a contributing writer for Living Faith and the collaborative online ministry at Creighton University. She resides in Omaha, NE, and enjoys a good mystery novel when she gets a chance to do some leisure reading.


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  1. Thank You for a beautiful reflection on a spectacular Fall day. There’s a hindrance in my view quite irritating: treasures from my newly deceased sister-in-law. How I battled with my husband who kept loading boxes for the Thrift Store , packing faster than I could sort. Now the siblings will be upset abou the “stuff”.. There are books with colorful underlined inspiration, margins of wisdom garnered from the pages. Artwork always intricate, colorful conversations with Father, Son or Spirit. Our Flower child whose life was a challenge became a treasure with a deep spirituality, joyful greetings made everyone smile.
    It’s time to wrap her Remains in her favorite scarf, the colors that match the beauty out my window.

  2. Thank you for this beautiful reflection on Autumn Leaves and what they represent in our lives.
    I am going to share this with my prayer Group and my Sisters in the CWL.

  3. I don’t always take the time that I would like to stop and read the daily reflections in my inbox, but something about today told me that I should…and I was not disappointed. Thank you for your beautiful imagery and words. They were an inspiration.

  4. I’m a quilter, and yesterday read a piece by a famous quilt blogger who took photos of autumn leaves to create an inspiration board for her next quilt. She reflected on how the changing colors inspired such a burst of creative energy and gratitude for the beauty of nature. Your reflection is a beautiful follow up to what the quilt artist wrote. Thank you!

  5. I have always considered the coloring and falling leaves as promise for next spring when sap will again flow and newness of green continues on to summer shades of green.

  6. Dear Vivian:
    I am so moved by your words this morning! Thank you for this beautiful reflection. I have been wanting to start journaling again, and your beautiful writing has given me the prompt I needed. Thank you and have a blessed day!


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