The feast of St. Francis dawned frosty and cold, but Brother Sun soon began to warm Sister Mother Earth. By the time our guests were leaving after dinner it was a beautiful, crisp autumn day. It was a good day to go for a walk and appreciate the beauty of creation.

Brother Wind has been working hard this past week to clean off all the tree branches, but the colors of those leaves that remain seemed even brighter and bolder in the sunshine. Although recent frosts have taken their toll on the flower gardens, Brother Bumblebees were still enjoying the flowers that remain. Sister Squirrels were busy in the trees gathering and storing their food for winter. By the end of the day, as Brother Sun slipped below the western horizon, he left behind streaks of orange splashed across the blue sky.

As the daylight grows shorter and time continues to move forward, we sometimes bemoan the end of summer and the coming of winter. But our brothers and sisters in creation have no such regrets. The bees didn’t seem to care that many flowers have reached the end of their season. They simply went to the ones that remained for what they needed. The squirrels didn’t seem to care that the morning was a bit colder than normal. They went about their necessary work regardless of the temperature. The trees without leaves did not seem jealous of the trees that were still full of colorful leaves.

On this Feast of St. Francis, perhaps we can learn a lesson from creation: appreciate and enjoy what is, rather than regretting what has past or fearing what is yet to come. For the beauty of the earth and the wisdom of creation, we say Deo Gratias!