There is a noticeable shift in our natural surroundings … can you feel it? I feel it in my bones; yes it feels bone deep to me. We’ve experienced the final, fleeting days of summer; let us cherish the last of the warmth and the momentary bright sunlit days. Even the endlessly gray, rainy days feel necessary to drench our parched earth and feed all the thirsty roots after the warm, dry summer we had.
As the days become shorter, the darkening of the evening sky feels welcome in preparation for precious cozy evenings spent curled up with a book, a blanket and a warm cup of tea. Occasionally we will wake to the mystery of foggy, misty mornings.
Our inner rhythms begin to change with the seasonal rhythms and this transition from summer to fall can disturb our inner balance. When I notice this disturbance (sometimes just a tiny niggling that I can’t quite put a finger on), I like to remind myself that change is inevitable and can be such a beautiful opportunity for personal growth and exploration. That opportunity presents itself as we transition into fall.
The seasons tell such an elaborate story, if we just take the time to listen. With the shift from the warmth and carefreeness of summer to fall we notice the cooler temperatures – we drag out the sweaters and scarves; the dryness - the leaves changing colour, drying up and drifting to the ground to be turned to earth once again; and more windy days – those feisty winds of fall that stir things up and toss them about. These qualities of dryness, roughness, coolness, and motion remind us it is a time to replenish and nourish after a summer of heat, hard play and depletion.
It is a season of letting go. Just as the trees let go of their leaves to rest in their stark nakedness; in the bare bones of their authenticity.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” – Tao Te Ching
Fall is a time to nourish our bodies with the bounty of mother earth’s great gifts from the garden – pumpkin, squashes, root vegetables, kale and chard added to savoury soups and stews. We begin to crave warm, cooked foods - nature’s comfort food for the season. Time to put away the salad bowls and bring out the soup bowls. Who else hungers for cooked oatmeal in the morning again? We can begin to add warming, digestive spices to our foods – like toasty cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.
"I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin, and crisp sunburnt leaves." Ann Drake
Not only is it important to nourish our bodies with food, but also we can calm our minds by slowing down, reviving our daily routines, taking time to be gentle with ourselves and finding moments of gratitude throughout the day. Some quiet time spent in meditation or reflection is recommended as well as light exercise (preferably outside in nature).
This is a time to luxuriate in nature’s bounty, from life-giving food to the plants and trees that flock the local landscape, to magnificent fall colours and beautiful flowers (I’ve been especially taken by the beauty and abundance of the dahlia flower which lavishes my sister-in-law’s garden), to the potency and sustenance of the mighty Fraser River.
All around us, we are reminded of the power and ongoing support of Mother Nature as she displays her colours of autumn with pleasure and pride.
After the communal and social energy of the summer months, the fiery power of the sun and more robust activity; I welcome the diminishment of daylight hours for a sense of coziness and inner calm, a time for reflection, an inward-guided energy. This new season is also an occasion to revel in the juiciness of your creativity, like pressing the juices from fresh fall apples.
As we enter into the autumnal season, take time to gently care for yourself; to stand firm and confident with re-established roots; to care for our earth and all living creatures with a loving tender heart; and to support one another with fortitude.
“And the sun took a step back, the leaves lulled themselves to sleep and autumn was awakened.” Raquel Franco