Shadows lengthen. Night comes earlier and morning later. We sat in the sun this afternoon, soaking up the last of the warmth. Temperatures begin to drop tonight and stay south of 50 for at least the next 10 days.

We rolled up the garden hoses, de-leaved the gutters, emptied the potted plants on the deck. The winter hiking clothes are neatly stashed in the trunk of my car so, come what may, I will be out in the healing creation.

Outside is getting tucked in as we prepare for the darker, colder season of the year. The question is now before us, “How do we prepare our insides for this time?”

Along with wood brought from the woodpile to the staging area closer to the door, it is time to start making plans for warming our home with healing connections. It is time to make plans for friends to come and eat and drink with us. It is time to plan a couple of parties for family land friends. It is time to clean out the closet again and give more unworn clothes for those who have no warm clothes and too many of them who have no warm shelter.

And it is time to slow and settle into the darker days and let them speak to us. New seeds can germinate in space where there isn’t too much light. Hints of hope can sprout in the mystery of broken suffering. Insights can flicker into candle light, maybe even brighter light to clarify future’s path.

Winter is waiting. May it be a blessing.