Autumn is probably my very favorite time of year, the colors are changing the whole landscape and the air is crisp, even with an occasional threat of frost. I love fall. This season give us a sense of urgency for what lies ahead. We’re not immersed in the holidays yet, but we soon will be, and autumn is perfect for inviting us to prepare for what’s coming.
Autumn is symbolic of plenty, ripening, harvest, and abundance; and, at the same time, a symbol of decay, decline, old age, and even death, with associations of things being past their prime. This juxtaposition of images can leave us wondering what to feel about the season.
Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing,offers us this beautiful quote: “Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”
For me, I feel the exhilaration of the temperature change and the crisp beauty of the sun on the shimmering leaves. My word for the year was Abundance, and this season reminds me that throughout the year, I’ve known sufficiently, but now at the end of the year, I see bounty! It is everywhere, at the farmer’s market, at the flower shop and even in my business dealings – the year is showing its richness!
What if this is OUR time to soar, just like the leaves? Where might we go, literally, emotionally, spiritually? What might our journey look like if we revel in the bounty that surrounds us? For me, several destinations come to mind…
- First, I want to go outdoors! There’s a beautiful arboretum nearby and in fall there is a splendid 3-mile path through the woods where I can marvel at the wonders of this season!
- Then, I want to go to the market! This is where I’ll buy squash and pumpkins, sweet corn and tomatoes, all the tastes and flavors of the season that will whet my appetite for Thanksgiving!
- Finally, I want to head to the kitchen! Here I’ll try to replicate my souffle of last fall – pumpkin and butternut squash, in a glorious custard with nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves! Oh the smell!
What’s your self-care adjustment as we wander into fall?Will you sort through your favorite sweaters in preparation for the winter chill that’s coming? Will you inventory your pantry and contemplate the warm and wonderful meals you’ll create as the weather gets cooler? Will you buy new sneakers so that your own walks in the park will be celebrated with fresh, bouncy soles that will create that crunch in the leaves? There are so many things you might choose to engage in as the seasons shift – listen to your body, your spirit and your heart!
Autumn can remind us of many things – the beauty of nature, the brevity of life, the natural cycle of our time on this Earth, and the return to school with a sense of completion – of coming to the end of something important.
What are your fondest memories of fall? When did you first notice the migration of waterfowl or discover the habits of animals that hibernate? Have you come upon a stash of acorns, safely stored by some neighborhood squirl or chipmunk for the long months ahead?
What do you want to take from this season? What will lift you up, warm your heart, enlarge your mind? How will you celebrate this amazing time of year and discover new ways to make it your own? It is a time of wonderful beauty and a time for making winter preparations. It is a time for harvesting the Earth’s bounty and for counting the blessings of your year. It is a season for settling down and for going out to explore before the snow covers the ground.
Autumn is exactly what you make it, don’t let it slip by without noticing all it may hold for you!