Fall in Minnesota teaches us to let go, as the last brave flowers fade and the last burnished leaves fall. Life always moves on, carrying in its steady current homes and jobs, friends and family, cherished beliefs and ideals. And if, at the end, we still haven’t learned to open our hands, death teaches us that we can’t hold on—not even to life. But letting go implies that we’ve spent our lives holding dear all the gifts God has given us—this person, this home, this wonderful job, this piece of earth we’ve come to know and care for. The maple sheds its brilliant leaves, seemingly without regret, but its roots go deep and it breathes in familiar air and knows the seasons. Unless we hold all of life in steadfast hands, letting go is a casual and careless shedding of people and possessions, and maybe of this precious earth and its inhabitants. For what we do not love with our whole heart, mind and strength, we will not save.
by Mara Faulkner, OSB