There can be no doubt about it, the long hot days of summer which have been so remarkable
this year are long gone, and we have clearly entered into what the poet John Keats
called the 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness'.
Keats' poem 'To Autumn', is a wonderful pen portrait of fruitful vines and apple
trees, full grown lambs and barrẻd clouds. But I wonder how many people know that
poem today. Certainly most younger folk will be far more familiar with the song sung
in countless school assemblies, 'Autumn Days' by Estelle White. The nearest she gets
to describing fruitful apple trees is 'the taste of apple pie', but she does refer
rather beautifully to 'grass that is jewelled and the silk inside a chestnut shell.'
In truth I am not so convinced by a reference to 'Jet planes meeting in the sky to
be refuelled', but the smell of bacon and comfy, worn-out shoes, I can definitely
It is however the repeated chorus of 'Autumn Days' which is most memorable; 'So
I mustn't forget. No, I mustn't forget, to say a great big thank-you, I mustn't forget'.
As it happens there is no suggestion as to whom our thanks should be directed, certainly
no mention of God. But that is not the point, the point I am sure is to encourage
us to recognise and not take for granted the many things that delight and en-rich
our lives, both in the natural world and the human.
Of course having said that, at Harvest we are given the annual opportunity to offer
thanks to God for the 'the fruits of the earth in their season', and His 'love in
However you greet the Autumn season, whether in church or out in the misty fields
and gardens, do try and find time to say a great big 'thank-you’!