The season is changing. The ospreys from the nests I’ve been following have set off on their long flight to their winter homes in Africa. The house martins finally fledged their third brood last week and will now have moved south to gather in larger groups also to fly to Africa along with the swallows and other of our summer visitors. The woodpigeons are ready for the change as they begin to form large flocks for safety and warmth during winter and some of them too will head off to new, warmer places.

Autumn is here. It’s a new season and despite the sadness I feel at saying goodbye to the birds I feel I’ve got to know through spring and summer, there are now birds moving in to spend winter with us, and of course some stay all year.

I was starting to write this when I heard the call of the pink-footed geese as they returned for another winter on the beach and in the surrounding fields. I rushed outside to welcome them back and to watch them fly directly overhead in their typical V shape, honking to greet me too. They have been very low this year and all their markings have been visible; such a lovely sight and sound.

Nothing stays the same for ever. Time is always moving on. It’s part of life.
And it should be like that with us. We shouldn’t be staying the same all the time. We should be growing in our Christian faith as each season passes; the season of isolation, of lockdown, of loneliness, of fear; the season of new birth, joy and happiness. Time moves on and things change.

I spent some time watching a bright green caterpillar walking up the window a few weeks ago. I had, at the time, no idea what it would become but I was fascinated at how it moved up the glass as I’d never watched a caterpillar from that angle before. Sometime later I found a large moth in the lounge. At first glance it was dull, drab brown; nothing to interest me at all and my focus was on getting it outside where it should be and where it would be happier, but it didn’t want to be caught. As I tried to catch it under a bowl it opened its wings and I caught sight of bright yellow. The moth was transformed. It became beautiful. That flash of yellow encouraged me to look at it more carefully and I noticed that it wasn’t dull, drab brown at all. On each wing was a small circle of darker brown looking like eyes to scare away prey, there was a light pattern too, difficult to see unless you really looked. I got out the moth identification book and discovered that this was a “yellow underwing moth”.

After a bit of a struggle I managed to catch it and place it gently outside and after a few seconds it was gone, flown away to spend the day sleeping hidden away from danger.

We all know how, from small eggs, caterpillars change to become beautiful butterflies or moths. It’s a change that requires lots of energy and so the caterpillars eat lots of leaves to build themselves up in preparation for that change.

How have you changed, grown over the last 6 months? Have you continued to read and study your Bible; to pray and to listen to God?


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