Autumn’s Swansong

Autumn’s Swansong

For those of us who live in the northern parts of the US, it’s been a marvelous autumn. Riding home on my bicycle when I could, I was immersed in an array of spectacular colors, watching the trees turn from green to every color in the red family—from a subdued brown to a flaming, bright red. The photo here I took on a weekend getaway to nearby Kentucky, at a state park in the eastern reaches of the state. You have to look closely to see where the water ends and the trees begin. Isn’t that cool?

I can’t help but think about life and death, about this world and the next, about the mysterious, blurry line between us and God present, about all kinds of mystery. I know I see God’s presence in such spectacular scenery, and that God shows himself to all of us in a thousand ways.

I’ve always been drawn to the soft images of impressionist art for the same reason. Life isn’t as clear-cut as many make it out to be. There are transition points, blurry lines, where we live in a kind of in-between. Like the lake and the trees I stood before, we see beauty, the reflection of beauty, and the in-between place we sometimes live, mired in the beautiful.

Nature can reveal so much to us!


About the Author

John Feister is editor in chief of St. Anthony Messenger magazine. He has a B.A. in American Studies from University of Dayton, and master's degrees in Humanities and in Theology from Xavier University. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, and was previously an adviser to the Communications Committee of the U.S. Catholic bishops (2000-2006). His latest book, Thank You, Sisters: Stories of Women Religious and How They Enrich Our Lives is available from the Franciscan Media catalog. He has cauthored four books with Richard Rohr (Franciscan Media), and coauthored, with Charlene Smith, the biography of Thea Bowman (Orbis books).