Charlotte Jousseaume: “Fructifying is the work of time, and the work of a lifetime”

This are the fruits of autumn, of the four seasons of the year, which I prefer. All these quinces, apples, pears, walnuts, hazelnuts, figs, plums, white grapes and black grapes are sons and daughters of spring flowers, and they gorged themselves with light all summer long.

They have ripened in the warm rays of the sun, and they give themselves to us as food as the night wins over the day, announcing the fall of the dead leaves and the cold of winter. They are like concentrates of sunshine inviting us, on the threshold of a new season in our lives, to decenter ourselves from the exterior light to center ourselves on our interior light.

Bear fruit “in due time”

I am a woman with an autumn face, a late flower, having reached maturity, giving life, in a burst of fruits and colors, all it has to give. If some bear fruit from their childhood or youth, others wait until their maturity or even their old age to bear it.

As the psalm says, the righteous bear fruit ” in his days “ and, as Christ teaches in the parable, it is sometimes necessary, for a lifetime, not to cut the sterile fig tree, but patiently “digging around it, one more year, to put manure in it”. Fruiting is the work of time, and the work of a lifetime.

Remedy for dryness

Yes, we all have a vocation to a fruitful life, called as we are to extract from our days and our nights the essence of life (from our personal life, but also from universal life), and to share our seeds for sow our fields. But what makes these days and nights ripen slowly within us, like wine in barrels or prayer in the heart of a monk? What makes it so that suddenly, one morning, one noon, one evening, one midnight, our fruit is there, all skinned, sometimes fleshy and pulpy, carrying in its heart what is most precious to us: the seed of our being?

The Gospels say that we recognize a tree by its fruits, that “grapes are not picked from thorns, nor figs from thistles” (Luke 6:44), but is our fruit the reflection of our only deep being? When I stumble on my sterility, when the soil where I am planted seems exhausted, when the day brings its share of drought and the night brings darkness, I like to remind myself of this simple question: “Who am I? »… In these four letters SUIS, hide two verbs of life: that of being and that of following! My fruit is the reflection not only of my being, but also of the life that it is given to me to follow.

To ripen and bear fruit in truth

This is perhaps the reason why I love autumn fruits so much… These fruits which have happily passed through the heat of life give themselves in depth to those who prepare themselves, sometimes in sadness, for the cold of death. As if, born in spring and matured in summer, they had a presentiment of the harshness of winter and, with it, of the joy, consolation and hope with which hearts had to be nourished. The fruits of autumn are not only the reflection of the being of autumn, they “follow” in their own way all the shades of light of the seasons of our lives, from birth to death.

So, this morning, to celebrate the spring, summer and autumn of my life, to welcome this winter and this death that will come in due time, I drew a still life, a still life, a “silent life”, as the English language says, made of grapes and apples. The seed of my being does not only come from who I am, but also from this personal life and this universal life whose paths I have been given to follow. It is the fruit of the marriage of my being with all the vagaries of life. The longer, winding and difficult the road, the more joys and trials there are, the longer it takes to mature and bear fruit in truth. And then, one day, the fruit is there, placed on the table, nourishing.

Charlotte Jousseaume: “Fructifying is the work of time, and the work of a lifetime”