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Por Stephan Lipke, SJ
Sep 22nd, 2015

Every autumn our Catholic school in Tomsk (Siberia) spends a day in the forest. This is a feast day because autumn for Russians is more than just a season. Autumn means picking up the fruits of the Earth, like mushrooms and berries. It also means collecting the fruit of the work of human hands, like potatoes. It means preparing oneself for winter. For example, people cook jam, they salt vegetables and so on. Preparing oneself for the winter means also collecting the last warmth of the old year. So we did on September 10th, not yet knowing that on September 14th there would be the first snow of the year. It was great fun for our students to spend their time outside, to play and to have what is most probably the last pick-nick of the year. Siberia teaches to be close to the nature, to accept its rhythm and to be part of it. And autumn in Siberia teaches you to use your time well, knowing that things might change quickly. Maybe this is true not only for nature but also for human relations. Probably we should pick up reconciliation and understanding if they are there and we should not wait. Who knows what is going to be tomorrow…

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