One of the beauties of the particular land that The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett is built on is the grove of Oak Trees that forms the back side of the property. Not only are they large, wonderful oaks, but they are a particular kind: Stone Mountain Oaks, which are found only in this part of the world, near Stone Mountain, Georgia.
Soon, if not already, one can witness a certain kind of symphony out on the deck of UUCG and in the grove: the sound of acorns dropping from the trees and landing on the earth, on leaves, on the deck, on the sidewalk, each making its own sound. Soon, the ground will be covered with the fruits of these trees, squirrels will have a festival gathering and hiding their stores for the winter and thereby planting new baby oaks for years to come.
This is renewal happening right in our own back yard, literally, organically. Even as these golden brown acorns fall, food and seeds for the future, the leaves on the oaks will begin to turn colors, fade, die, and drop from the trees as they go into their winter sleep, appearing to be dead.
Trees don’t override their own built in renewal. They stand firm; grow; green; flower; fruit; offer their harvest; sleep; and repeat, year after year. You and I have the ability to pay attention to our own built in renewal systems, and we can override and ignore them, to our detriment. Do you know what they are? Perhaps it’s time for a quiet walk in the grove where you can sit, stand, walk, pause and breathe deeply, allowing these giant friends of ours to remind us how to renew ourselves.