Rev. Dr. Pamela Saturnia
Rev. Dr. Pamela Saturnia
Rev. Dr. Pamela S. Saturnia is the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Muscatine. In her free time she likes to travel, watch British television, golf, and hang out with her corgi, Louis.

Muscatine Living

The other day I posted on Facebook a picture of a tree in full autumnal colors and said, “This is my favorite time of year.” From the amount of comments and post likes, I know I am not the only one who feels this way. Fall is a beautiful season full of good things. The farmers are in their fields bringing in the harvest; the leaves on the trees are turning red, and orange, and gold; pumpkins and apples are everywhere; and there is a chill in the air so we light fires in our fireplaces, put on cozy sweaters, and drink hot apple cider. It is a lovely time of year.

In nature, it is the time of year when trees and plants start to die back and animals start to prepare for winter by stocking up food or by going into hibernation. Everything slows down a bit. Maybe that’s what resonates with how we feel about fall. Nature has a way of teaching us about what it means to be human.

Perhaps you have heard the quotation, “the trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” There is something about that quotation that speaks to me and makes me feel a tad uneasy too. When I think about letting go, I think about taking stock of my life. What am I holding on to which I no longer have use for that could be of use to someone else? How can I declutter my home, my closets, my basement, or attic? There is a deeper question here that asks, what or maybe even who am I holding on to that I need to let go of for their sake and/or for mine? I’m thinking about outdated thoughts or practices. I’m wondering about hurts, or anger, or bitterness. Perhaps the most difficult letting go is of–people. People come in and out of our lives, and sometimes we have to let them go.

When we let go, we make room for something new. When we clean the clutter from our lives we make room and space (not for more stuff) but for a less chaotic life. Less stuff means less time managing it and more time for something new. When we let go we open ourselves up to new ways of thinking and living. When we let go, even of someone we care about, we give them the gift of time and space to flourish on their own, which is sometimes exactly what that person needs.

In my religious tradition, fasting is a way of making room for something new. Fasting is giving up something or letting go of something to make more room for God to do something new. We often associate fasting with giving up chocolate for Lent, but it can be that and so much more. Yes the trees are showing us something. May we have the courage to follow their lead.

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