Every year in the days around the autumnal equinox, in the mornings, around 10:12 precisely, the trees around my house fill with hundreds of small little black birds very excited to tell me of their journey thus far. They jump about, twitter and call and talk and jabber for about 1/2 hour and move on. They’ve got places to go and obviously other people to see. They make me happy.
This is without question my favourite time of year though I do love every change of season regardless. Each change brings with it a specific energy and dynamic that is unique of the other three. Warm days and cool nights, colours becoming extraordinarily bright before disappearing altogether. This time of year brings us into the wisdom of harvest, gathering, and putting up stores for the winter. The crows and jays loudly commenting on the goings on and yelling at squirrels frenetically running here and there and back again trying to hide enough nuts for the months ahead, lazy butterflies resting longer and longer as they light upon fall asters, beebalm and echinacea conserving energy for their long flight home and dozy yellow jackets drunk from supping on fallen fermenting fruit. The high energy of spring and summer are slowly giving way to a slower reflective pace. But right now is a time for community building, coming together, getting chores done, bringing in the harvests, and celebrating our abundance together. It’s a loud and bold time of year. We share food, wine, beer, storytelling and fellowship because intrinsically we know that we can not survive in isolation. We are pack animals. We may come to need those relationships during the months ahead so it’s a good thing to join hands in fellowship and revelry- 6 million visitors to Munich every October for Oktoberfest can’t be totally wrong!
Nature as always is there to reflect back to us if we care to look and recognize our symbiosis. If we want to survive the winter well we need to understand our true perennial nature and look to the viability of our roots, fruits and seeds as we begin the autumnal journey toward winter.
It is through our fruits and seeds that we share our authentic selves forward. Our truest thoughts, emotions, belief systems and behaviours will determine the value of what we have to share with others. Everything inauthentic will whither and fail. As the fall progresses we will become more aware of our decaying nature, our losing of energy, our inevitable entropy but for now we feel more alive than ever. This is the season of ripening, of showing off, of generosity and of celebration! We are throwing our seed! It is through understanding the fruits grown of our labour that we can begin to grasp what will carry us forward. As we come to take stock of our gardens and pantries we may also take stock of our offerings to our communities, our friends, and families.
- What have you nourished and nurtured in the past few months that is available to help others now?
- Do you have the awareness to understand that you will and must share of your self easily to stay part of the natural abundant flows of energy? If you close yourself off from others and their energy systems nothing flows out perhaps but also nothing can flow in.
- What have you cultivated and harvested?
- What do you share? This is the time to charge the ripening seeds of your thoughts with life force vitality that they may germinate and take root come spring for new regenerative growth.
- Does the fruit of your actions provide sustenance to others along your path or only for you?
In fall when the outside world is decaying, ending a cycle, we need to become aware of our roots and thus our stamina to go the distance. The winter months are long and dark, so only if we can be in touch with the deep vitality that rests in our roots will we survive.
So now ask yourself this:
- What makes you tick?
- What values hold you stable and strong?
- What is the lineage of your ancestors that feed your soul and help you with day to day living?
- What kind of root system do you have?
By understanding how we are rooted helps us understand how we can resource ourselves. A long, thick, deep tap root anchors deeply into one place, it’s a private way of being that hunkers down and feeds meagerly on minimal resources. Shallow, thick and tubular roots provide many sources of anchoring and many sources of nourishment and vitality allowing you to be more outgoing and sharing yet still staying close to home. A root system that is fine and mycelium like in nature is able to reach far and wide connecting to a network of resource that is based in communal type thinking and living, offering a more inter-dependent life support system. Each of these systems requires different resources to survive yet all must survive.
Over the course of the coming months the nights will get longer, darker and colder. We will gradually move into a natural cycle of rest and hibernation. But for now we celebrate and live loudly in gratitude. Revel in the sunshine, let autumn breezes blow your grateful prayers far and wide, walk around barefoot as much as possible and connect to the earth. Walk in the woods and connect with your roots. Set up your big harvest banquet tables and tell stories while breaking bread. Sit around an autumn bonfire singing folk songs and rounds. Sit with Nature, eyes wide open, watching her play out the last days of autumn with all her joy and exuberant energy. She is investing in herself – giving it all for the winter coming. Invest in her also…don’t be in a hurry to clean up your gardens just yet, let the birds, bugs and critters get all they want first; the winter is long for them too!