With the turn into autumn, the look of things outside changes. From the lush look of summer, the colors of shrubs and plants deepen and thin out. What has begun to happen in things we see every day also happens to the less visible.

Yesterday, the resident hedgehog was noshing on the back lawn. Usually he runs quickly across the lawn and disappears behind the garage. Wherever we walk, the squirrels continue their nervous marathons all over the neighborhood, large eyes watching which direction we are going and careening across lawns and up trees. What stops us in our tracks is the startling sight of an albino squirrel leaping up tree trunks and running across sidewalks. Those big eyes taking in and guessing our movements . Unlike these critters that run from us, there’s another neighborhood denizen that doesn’t flee at our approach. The stately skunk walks leisurely past. Seemingly oblivious of our presence. We flee, not they!

The Canticle in the Office from the Book of Daniel, chapter 3, fits so well the exultation a sunny fall day generates in our hearts: Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord! Sun and stars, bless the Lord. Seas and rivers, birds of the air, fish in the waters – all bless the Lord. And to our four-footed neighbors, squirrels, hedgehogs, racoons, feral cats, and skunks: All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord!

What follows beasts wild and tame in the canticle? All the children of earth, bless the Lord. Praise and exalt God above all forever! We are the lucky ones who can put words to this seasonal display.

If artists’ mind, heart, and spirit are instantiated in the art they create, what does the magnificent array in our planet reveal about its maker?

All that the earth holds is bound together in this canticle, a fitting autumn hymn of the wonders created out of love.

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