Creator of all that is, all that has ever been, and all that will ever come, in the season we know in the North as autumn, we offer gratitude for the cycle of the seasons. In this season we begin to reap what we have sown, tended to, prayed over, and fretted on. In all of this, we know that you have been there, watching over your creation and all its creatures.
We lament over crops that were lost this year, to drought, and hail, and floods, to frost, to lack of workers, to pandemic. We lament over crops that were never planted, where farmers could not access their land or do not have the privilege to acquire land. Help us to stand in solidarity with farmers whose harvest never came to yield; help us to see land not as a resource to use, but as a gift to share.
As the leaves begin to turn brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows, we begin to pull from the ground the fruit of our labour. The potatoes, squash, brussels sprouts, cabbage, apples, pears and more begin to fill our baskets. We give thanks. The corn and beans are ready to be stored; they have dried on their stocks. We know that these foods will sustain us through the winter.
We give thanks for labourers who have come to harvest, workers from near and far, many who travel to this land to find work. Sustainer, open our eyes to their sacrifice and help us to honour their gift. We pray for a safe harvest for all labourers and farmers.
As the honeybee prepares for winter, we enjoy honey’s nectar sweetness. As the broiler chicken is fully grown, we give thanks for their life that will sustain us. As the hunter patiently awaits the deer, we honour its gift as nourishment.
Creator, we are called back to remember our interconnectedness during this harvest season. Forgive us the times that we have been disconnected from our relations in our desire to take more than we should. Call us back into the fabric of creation so that we might live in the abundance of life.
For all this, and more, we give thanks.
―Michael Shewburg is Executive Director of Five Oaks and lives on an organic farm with his farming partner Ryan and son Marshall.