My last blog was all about how trees talk to each other, cooperating, sharing nutrients, even warning of danger. Mother trees in particular play a significant part in the life of the forest, reaching out and caring for its younger neighbours. Just now I came across this short reflection by John Birch which I share with you.

‘Where we live, this is the beginning of Autumn, and so I offer this prayerful thought…

The Church is full of people in the Autumn of their years.

Some have led colourful lives, leaves bronzed and golden through exposure to the elements, their appearance the centre of attention. Others have been exposed to more extreme conditions, branches bowed and scarred.

Some go unnoticed, yet stand tall and steadfast against wind and rain.

All have a story to tell, all can offer support and shelter for saplings which grow beneath their leafy canopy.’ (©John Birch,

Photo by Min An on

A prayer:

Lord, whatever season we find ourselves in, we know that your eye is always upon us and your heart is always open to us. Remind is that whether we are noticed is not the issue when we are under your watchful all seeing gaze.

Even in the autumn of our lives, and dare I say, the winter we still have a part to play. Let our branches provide shelter to those under our protection and care, and those around us struggling with fear and anxiety in these challenging days. Help us Lord to especially protect the strangers taking refuge in our land.

Let our root systems stay strong, buried deep in the rich soil of your grace and mercy, reaching out to those around us who need the nutrients of care, kindness, encouragement, and such wisdom as we’ve acquired over the years. Let us Lord continue to be rooted and grounded in your infinite love and mercy.

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