Living Seasonally: The Fall Equinox
Every fall, around the autumnal equinox, I am always surprised by the sudden urgency to get my life in order.
Right now, I feel like a squirrel frantically gathering nuts, or a goose trying to eat everything in sight.
In the summer months, the days are longer, but the heat lulls me into a languid pace that comes with an “I’ll get it done tomorrow” frame of mind. Now that the days of summer wane, it is time to get caught up and meet the rhythm of the changing seasons. Leaves are turning, the weather is cooling, and it’s time to stop lounging in the sun (something we don’t get to do enough in New England).
Many cultures that follow a lunar calendar consider this time the beginning of the new year. It's a familiar notion for many: school starts, we finish harvesting vegetables, pick the ripened fruit, and begin to prepare for the long winter months. We have family, farm, and home obligations. With the autumnal equinox, we lose about three minutes of daylight each day. Before we know it, we’ll lose daylight by five pm.
The earth has a breathing cycle, one that affects us and all the other flora and fauna that we live alongside. This breath finishes inhaling at each of the equinoxes, and is fully exhaled at the solstice. When it peaks in the fall, we feel a heightened sense of inward focused purpose. An intense awareness of ourselves.
I use this time at the fall equinox to prepare myself for the winter’s powerful time of introspection and learning. In nature (and us) winter is a time of crystallization of thoughts, ideas and information. Seeds become fully formed in the next few months. This time of the earth’s inbreathing is when she draws in information, fertility and wisdom. Right now is the time to prepare for receiving it! Lots of organizing, clearing, and prioritizing. Only then will I be ready to sit and ponder or read in the colder months.
Dive deep into these rhythms of nature. Let us use our time this fall wisely. Let us enjoy the beautiful bounty of the harvest that is being offered to us by our farmers and food producers. And lastly, let us prepare for winter as we enjoy the colors and crispness of fall. I hope your transition into this purposeful time is joyful and productive!
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