September by Grace Paley
Then the flowers became very wild
because it was early September
and they had nothing to lose
they tossed their colors every
which way over the garden wall
splattering the lawn shoving their
wild orange red rain-disheveled faces
into my window without shame
As we enter into a new month and a new season, I ask that you take in this poem, September, by Grace Paley. This poem fills me with delight as I look at the flowers in my own garden spilling over into almost recklessness. The neatness of my spring planting is long gone as the flowers have lived their abundant lives. The phlox have spread, the brown eyed susans are glorious, the autumn joy sedums are starting to color, the creepers have crept beyond the garden borders, and the annuals are fading fast and flinging their spent blooms to the ground. What if we, like wildflowers in September, lived without shame? What if we, like wildflowers, lived into our authentic selves and shared our gifts (and quirks), tossing our light every which way over the garden wall? What if we, like wildflowers, fully embraced being made in the image of God? So often we tone ourselves down, or have one foot on the break, so as to not be “too much,” We, as the song goes, hide our light under a bushel so as to fit in. This poem reminds me that life is to be lived in the here and now while we can.
What if we are called to be like September wildflowers? In our baptisms we were given the name “child of God,” and that name isn’t for the timid. To be a child of God is to be a flower in September. It is a name that reflects the glory, the creativity, the fabulousness of God who is lavish when it comes to love. To be called “child of God” is to claim your place as beloved, as important, as precious and valuable in God’s sight. To live into the name child of God is to show your face, stand tall, and use your voice, without shame.
You, dear ones, are the wildflowers of September, called to reflect the lavish, wild love of God. May you toss your colors every which way, sharing the love and grace of God.
In Peace and Hope, Pastor Ruth