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atrimmerAs the temperature struggled to get up to 60 degrees (F) yesterday, I walked outside and noticed also that it was time to cut back plants that had flowered so beautifully, yet briefly, earlier in the summer. It feels already as if the autumn is upon us although the prediction is that we may return to milder temperatures in the coming week, as is often the case – ironically – when children return to school. I feel as if being outside tending to the earth would be a noble and restorative occupation today.

I was encouraged in that determination by a prayer by Mary Schneider, CSJ in a reflection booklet produced by my religious community, a welcome gift on this Saturday morning. Mary offers the following blessing:

May God, the Ground of All Being, the Ground that gave you life and nourished your growth, help you realize that you are fruit of the ground in which you grew. You reflect this ground, bringing special gifts and beauty into the world. May you realize, too, that each person, each living, growing thing, also reflects the Ground and colors the world with unique gifts and beauty.

God, Ground of All being, fill us with appreciation of all growing things – their variety of shapes, sizes, textures, intricate patterns and colors.. May this beauty help us accept the diversity in all human beings and allow us to acknowledge the gift of ourselves, the gift that life is, counting each person as part of the earth filled with the goodness of God.