Autumn or herfst as it is known in Brugge has arrived. The courtyard is covered with a carpet of red, yellow and golden brown leaves and the carpet thickens each day as the leaves flutter from the tall stately trees. I look up and there may be many more carpets to come. I am told the city has already removed one carpet of leaves! They will be back!
This sister has returned to the Beguinage after a month at her home convent in America. At the end of September before departing I wondered, as I ambled sweater-less and peaceful across the courtyard, if all the leaves which were just beginning to fall would be on the ground when I returned. I have a longstanding habit of musing about the future. As a young girl I mused, “Wow, I will be 55 years old when the year 2000 comes and the twenty first century arrives.” That would be a long time from now I thought and now of course it is 16 years in the past…so musing on the state of the leaves in a month did not seem strange to me. Sure enough now that I have returned fall is in full swing. You can hardly find the courtyard path as you crunch, slip and slide back to the monastery door from Mass or service. There is a lovely mauve chrysanthemum at the monastery door and a white one by the Mary statue in the church. The bouquet for the altar for All Souls has lovely red and orange and brown tree branches amongst the roses.
The continual change in the seasons brings with it its own peace and stability; we monastics who take a vow of stability to live in the same place committed to the same people find a a particular comfort in the round of seasons. It speaks to us of God. “We who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may repose in God’s eternal changelessness.” Amen and Amen. (An ancient compline prayer of the church)