Holy Trinity Episcopal Church
3745 Kimball Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38111
901 743 6421

The article is taken from THE TRACT, October 2019 issue



From the Desk of Rev. Tom Momberg





What seeds were first planted in you when you were born? What are the birthright gifts, those original seeds of selfhood, that now, decades later, you may feel distant from, that may feel like they may even have passed away?


            These are questions from a wise teacher who has touched my life countless times. Parker Palmer holds thirteen honorary doctorates and is the author of ten books, selling more than a million and a half copies. His worldwide influence in large part began with an essay called “There Is A Season,” which later became the inspiration for his extremely popular ~ and brief! ~ book on vocation, Let Your Life Speak, and led to the creation of the Center for Courage and Renewal.


            As your priest and your fellow pilgrim, it gives me great pleasure to share with you part of what Parker says about the season of autumn. Since I first read them, these words have inspired me through all my seasons. I hope his words give new meaning to your life, in the shorter days and lengthening nights ahead.


            Autumn is a season of exhilarating beauty. It’s also a season of steady decline and, for some of us, deepening melancholy. The days become shorter and colder, the trees shed their glory, and summer’s abundance starts to decay toward winter’s death.


            As I weather the autumn of my own life, I find nature a trustworthy guide. It’s easy to fixate on everything that goes to ground as time goes by: the disintegration of a relationship, the disappearance of good work well-done, the diminishment of a sense of purpose and meaning. But, as I’ve come to understand that life “composts” and “seeds” us as autumn does the earth, I’ve seen how possibility gets planted in us even in the most difficult of times.

            Looking back, I see how the job I lost pushed me to find work that was mine to do, how the “road closed” sign turned me toward terrain I’m glad I traveled, how losses that felt irredeemable forced me to find new sources of meaning. In each of these experiences, it felt like something was dying, and so it was. And yet deep-down, amid all the falling, silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown.


            Autumn constantly reminds me that my daily dyings are necessary precursors to new life. If I try to “make” a life that defies the diminishments of autumn, the life I end up with will be artificial, at best, and utterly colorless as well. But when I yield to the endless interplay of living and dying, dying and living, the life I am given will be real and colorful, fruitful and whole.



~ In the peace of Christ,