We reach the autumnal equinox in which there is about the amount of daylight as night time today. We transition from summer into autumn. The hummingbirds seem to have disappeared from the feeder, taking their clue from nature that it is time to migrate south and get away from the impending colder weather.
We give thanks to God, our Creator, for the beauty He has brought into being. The world changes, transitions, from season to season.
The day is Yours, the night also is Yours;
You have prepared the light and the sun.
You have set all the borders of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.
The leaves of our pink flowering Dogwood tree, so beautiful in the spring, are turning color and drying up. The berry of the tree is now the last color of the season for the Dogwood.
In the ancient Roman Empire – into which Christ became incarnate and Christianity came into being – September 23, the autumn equinox was also considered New Year’s Day as Augustus Caesar’s birthday was said to have “miraculously” occurred at this time. The equinox thus was used to mark the boundary between years.
I used to love summer, but as I’ve aged and moved into the autumn of my life, I’ve also come to love the fall season so much more than summer. I am not so taken by winter, but I love the autumn temperatures, lower humidity, cool breezes and the color change of the trees.
I’m still in my own transitional phase in my cancer treatment. The summer was spent in chemo, and so I was not out much enjoying the summer days. As of last week, I completed the chemotherapy and now am trying to recover from the side effects and the cumulative effects of the treatment. As the temperatures drop, my head is also losing its hair due to the chemo and I feel those cool breezes all the more.
A trivia question: according to Orthodox prayers, what is the purpose of having hair on the head?
In the Baptism service, we pray:
” You have covered the head with hair, that it not be injured with the changes of the weather, and have fitly joined together all our members, that with them all we may give thanks to You, the Great Creator.” (Prayer before the Tonsuring at Baptism)
Hair on the head is to protect the head from the negative effects of changing weather. I’ve lost most of mine, so I have to resort to a hat to protect my balding head. More transitions as we move through the year, and I move through the years of my life.
Of course we know that according to St. Luke’s Gospel, God counts the very hairs on our heads.
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Luke 12:7)
The chemo is making God’s job easier as there are far fewer hairs to count.