Monday, March 15, 2010

Autumn in Tasmania

Autumn - the time of resting for nature to be ready for winter when the nourishment has to be sought deep in the ground ready for the new birth at springtime.

This time of relief from the hot sun arrived 15 days ago. That first week of March in the southern hemisphere was still very warm but each day, especially each night, is becoming cooler. Those very cold days and freezing nights will soon be here.

As I type it is a beautiful, early autumn day here in Tasmania with clear blue skies and only a light breeze. This past summer once again Australia has known bushfires, drought and floods at various times and different places. Yes, even here in Tasmania so close to Antarctica we have needed the fans on! Last week we had a few days and nights of much needed rain and cool winds but this morning my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our walk. However, soon the sun’s rays will be weak enough that the leaves start to rest. Before long the vineyards between here and Launceston will transform the slopes into seas of gold. Then when they have fallen and carpeted the ground beneath them the sharp pruning will commence.

Many parts of Australia are still recovering from the summer months and sure need a rest for awhile!

A couple of weeks ago the ten years of drought in the western regions of my home state of Queensland were officially declared over. Many places are still surrounded by seas of flood water. Homes in many towns have been flooded. Many communities and especially farmers are now counting their heavy losses. Now the water in the rivers is travelling south into western New South Wales and other towns are watching the river levels in their areas. The big question being asked is ‘Will the water reach the Darling River and will there be more rain out west to help it flow also into the Murray River thousands of miles away’. These rivers have been ‘dying’ now for years and causing immense concern across our nation. Hopefully now they will know new life, a new season of prosperity.

There is a favourite poem for many Australians called My Country by Dorothea Mackellar. When at school many years ago I memorised this poem written by a homesick Australian living in England. While I love her wonderful description of our land there have been a couple of lines that often come to mind during summers like this last one. She reminds us:
‘For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back three fold-.’
You may like to see this beautifully written description of Australia at her official website:-

What about you? This past year have you known times in your spiritual life of famine, of floods, even the fires of physical pain or emotional anguish and the following blackness surrounding you? Are you ready for your autumn? Are you ready to check out your circumstances, your life’s goals, your work load and recognise that you too need a period to rest and relax in God’s arms? Never forget that even God rested on that seventh day after He created the heavens and the earth and saw that ‘it was very good.’

Sometimes writers too forget there are periods we need to be quiet before God, to rest in Him, to let Him prune us of all that has become dead wood and no longer should be in our lives. As we rest in an intimate relationship with Him through His Word, prayer and fellowship with fellow believers, let our roots go even deeper into Him ready for the spring and the new things He wants to do in and through our lives.

And a reminder from Colossians 2:6,7 So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness


  1. Hi Mary,

    I've gone to daily devotionals at church during this lenten season and included a 30 min walk each way as part of my personal path. Like you say, those moments of quiet with other believers bring me closer to God and refresh my faith. This morning, I was a couple of minutes late because I stopped to admire a red-headed woodpecker -- he was so wondrously created from the top of his red crest to the black feathers on his tail and the unseen, sponge-like fibre around his brain so he doesn't get a concussion from rapping his beak against the trees. You are going into Fall, I'm coming into Spring and both are perfect times to remember God's grace and bounty.

  2. Laura O'ConnellMarch 15, 2010 at 2:12 PM

    Hi Mary, thanks so much for this gentle and encouraging reminder. We need rest. I have been through drought and flooding rains these past couple of months, and I need to rest in our God. It's so good to receive a reminder every now and then.

  3. Lovely comment, Alice. And with Autumn came a heavy fog where we live near a large river. Still, in the early morning it was lovely and quiet too. Now the sun is shining on one of those crystal clear mornings.
    Thank you, Laura, for the comment. there are many kinds of droughts and floods. Some bring stress while sometimes others make us 'sit for awhile' and rest in the Lord - especially when it is all beyond our own control!

  4. Mary, wonderful post :-) One day I'd love to see the autumn colours on the gentle slopes of the vineyards near you. Thanks for reminding us that we need a time to 'rest'.

  5. You are such a very special, generous person, Narelle, and would love to have you here some day!