AUTUMN

Autumn is quickly changing from lovely color to black and white, which I admit has its own beauty. I love the colors of autumn, but approach winter without much enthusiasm. Perhaps it’s my age.

Last winter seemed to be very long. Spring was slow in coming. Snow was piled along my road what seemed like forever even well past the vernal equinox.

I love being outside to chat with passing friends and dog walkers. In the winter, they mostly hurry their animals to do what they need, and go back to a warm house. Yes, summer can be hot and sometimes I give in and turn on the AC. Friends who live in hot climates feel the opposite about winter and summer. They are confined to their airconditioned homes and go out only when necessary, as northerners are confined in the winter.

But even as the darkness falls early now and with the change of time even earlier, the sun begins to lengthen our evenings by mid-December while shortening our mornings until the winter solstice. As the days lengthen I again anticipate Spring and green leaves.

Meanwhile, we’re given the glory of Autumn.

A small pond in my mobile home park.
A small pond in my mobile home park where big blue herons fish all summer, but have now headed to warmer climes.

 

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SILK AND LUXURY FROM A WORM

Did you know that silk is probably the most ecological natural fabric for clothing? It requires very little in energy. It supplies work to many poor farmers in countries in China and the rest of the Far East. All the raw material it requires are the silkworms, which are really caterpillars, and mulberry leaves.

The moths, the blind flightless moth called Bombyx mori, lay hundreds of eggs. When the eggs hatch they begin eating mulberry leaves until they are about three inches long, look like stretched white marshmallows, and are ready to spin cocoons. After a few days the cocoons are finished and allowed to dry. Next the cocoons are dipped in hot water to loosen the filament that can stretch to a kilometer in length.

Silk is also the strongest thread which is why it was used to cover the wings of early airplanes–strength without weight. Fragments have been unearthed and dated to 1100 BC. It was so prized in China where it was first made that anyone trying to sneak it out of the country was subject to a death sentence.

I think to slide between silk sheets must feel totally luxurious. What feels luxurious to you?

On Being a Steward

It has been two weeks or more since I’ve posted a blog. The reason is mundane. I couldn’t focus on a single idea. Some flashed through the mind, but nothing settled. Is this writers’ block? No. I’ve been writing, but it has focused on my faith and my church.

This week it has been on stewardship. It is the time of year churches develop their budgets for the coming year. The governing body of the church asks members to contribute to the church financial program. It may include, and probably does, the minister’s compensation, upkeep of the buildings, and mission programs.

This is a very narrow meaning for the word “stewardship.” What does the word actually mean?

A steward on a cruise ship sees to the needs of the passengers assigned to him/her. Passengers tips for their stewardship are likely to be larger when the passenger has received special help or consideration. But again that concerns money.

Steward is also a verb. The dictionary says to steward is to manage. That makes us stewards of life itself. We must steward our health. We steward our homes, our home life and family. We steward our job and our income.

And one more thing we all have. Time. We must manage or steward our time. How do we use our time? It is so easy to fritter it away on next to nothing and then mourn we don’t have time to accomplish our goals.1-Autumn 20040004

Yes, I’ve thought about blogging these past two weeks. But am I honest when I say I couldn’t focus, or was simply not a good steward of my time and energy? I’m afraid it is the latter.

Stewardship. What does it mean?