If you are reading this in the Northern Hemisphere then you can’t help but notice that autumn is fully upon us. Leaves are turning scarlet, orange and yellow on the trees and carpeting the ground. Wild winds, rain and colder air embrace us as we search for jumpers and winter coats forgotten at the back of the wardrobe.
Perhaps like me you resist as long as possible, straining to hear the echoes of warmer, lighter days, still wearing sandals and sitting outside as much as possible even if swathed in a thick coat, hanging on to the last remnants of summer. Or maybe you jump in with both feet, kicking through the autumn leaves.
However you greet autumn, see if you can tune into the energy of this time. Notice the slowing down, the gradual turning inwards as the hours of darkness lengthen each day. Honour this time of letting go. If we are able to learn from the trees and release what we don’t need then we can move through the coming months of winter more easily, more lightly.
Some suggestions for getting in touch with the energy of the season:
•Harvest – what have you been working on this year that you can complete now, before the deeper hibernating energy of winter?
•Letting Go – what do you no longer need? What no longer serves you, has perhaps become just an unconscious habit? Letting go creates space for new seeds to incubate over the winter month and come to life in the spring.
•Slowing Down – how can you begin to slow down to prepare for the winter ahead? Taking care of yourself now will prevent your falling ill in the colder months or during the craziness and stress of the party season. A little TLC and relaxation goes a long way.
•Get Outside! Increasingly at this time of year we move from sealed homes to sealed cars to other sealed buildings and can go for weeks without actually being outside. Go for a walk once a week – out in the countryside if you can. Notice the trees, the berries, the fungi; how many of the plants are beginning to die back for winter to allow the holly and ivy to shine through. Breathe in the different smells around at this time of year – damp leaves, wood smoke. Even in city streets you can walk amongst trees or find a park or public gardens to visit.
The natural world has a far greater impact upon us that we realise. We are a part of it, not apart from it. Our very existence is dependent on, woven into the natural environment in which we live and if we can tune into and work with the energy of the season the rewards can be great. In this year when the great challenge of our time, the Climate Emergency has finally come to the fore, Autumn has taken on a special poignancy.
"What do we most need to do to save our world?' His answer was this: "What we most need to do is to hear within us the sounds of the Earth crying.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have. - Abraham Lincoln -