Autumn Brings New Beginnings and Change.
It’s that time of the year again, when the sun seems to disappear too quickly and it’s dark by 5:30pm. We’re starting to feel the crisp chill in the air. I have gone through my closets and stored away my most of my summer wear and rediscovered my cosy jumpers and boots. Some of us have stoked up our fires as the nights get nippy. It is Autumn once again. It has taken its time settling in this year, and pondering it a little longer, may encourage winter to slow its arrival as well.
We just experienced our last super moon of 2020 on Thursday May 7th. Did you see it? It was pretty awe-inspiring. I associate this type of moon to a harvest moon that occurs around the autumnal equinox. There is a traditional symbolism associated with a harvest moon of a new beginning, coming after hard work and dedication. The brightness of the harvest moon, according to Farmer’s Almanac, actually gave farmers an extra 25 minutes of picking and gathering time. Autumn is a time of beneficial outcomes for those who have properly prepared the ground and planted seeds. But in some traditions, Autumn is a time of Melancholia. Growing up in the US, Autumn started in September. It meant that daylight savings was over, as it is here. 2 1/2 months of summer vacation had also come to an end and I was back in school. With this came some feelings of dread. It was an adjustment to let go of all that sunshine and freedom. But on the bright side, the change of season also brought my birthday. “A new beginning” for me for sure. It was a time when I got really excited about being another year older. Now, maybe, not so much. In the southern hemisphere, there’s no birthday on the immediate horizon for me to look forward to. So how do I embrace this seasonal change and it’s new beginning?
I look to some of the symbolic meanings of Autumn for inspiration. How can we find meaning and glean some appreciation for this time of year? Ancient cultures, science, and astrology have associated many aspects of this beautiful season to human life. These symbolic associations are powerful reminders that Mother Nature has an incredible influence on us. Autumn represents the preservation of life and its basic necessities. It also represents balance. Day and night are the same length during the autumnal equinox. As a result, ancient cultures have always associated this time with the concept of balance. It’s a time to acknowledge both the dark and the light, and to give thanks for aspects of both.
The tree of life has a parity of branches above the earth and roots below. In the “Lion King” Mufasa explains to his young son Simba: “Everything you see exists together, in a delicate balance.” How do we find balance when Autumn is the paradigm of transition? We can often experience a bit of summer in the afternoon while winter cold can sneak up quickly in the evening. Sharp contrasts can result in less than 24 hours. I choose to go with the flow and let the day present what is possible. Balance for me today means rugging up and going out for a bike ride while the sun is shining. As the sun sets, I will come home and prepare some delicious soup. The epidemy of comfort food. The evening will mean spending some time cosying up, finding a movie or book to settle into and stoking a warm fire. As the leaves on deciduous trees change colour it is a reminder that all things change. Life is impermanent and we need to embrace our now moments. Fall is the end of many things, but it can also represent the beginning, use this season to help you find the balance you need.
Autumn also means letting go. As temperatures drop to the tune of leaves falling, autumn illustrates the beauty of letting go. It doesn’t have to be considered morbid or morose. Instead, we can apply this concept to our inner egos and patterns of greed and pride. The idea of letting go also stresses the temporary nature of everything around us. You can do a bit of cleaning out of unwanted things. It may be a great time to physically give away excess items that no longer serve you. Put some things on e-bay perhaps?
Autumn is a time to be thankful for what we have experienced throughout the year. It’s a time to embrace the simpler things that present themselves. It could be a warm cuddle or a child’s laugh. “I read that certain spiritual masters in Tibet used to set their teacups upside down before they went to bed each night as a reminder that all life was impermanent. And then, when they awoke each morning, they turned their teacups right side up again with the happy thought, ‘I’m still here!’ This simple gesture was a wonderful reminder to celebrate every moment of the day.”
Celebrate your harvest no matter how small and be patient through this seasonal time of transition. Balance your life and appreciate the little things in it.
Written by Michelle “Mickie” Ball, Massage therapist and Gokhale Method® Teacher 0428 223 271