I love autumn. Perhaps its because I was born in that season. Perhaps its that this season seems to inspire reflection, self-evaluation and quiet contemplation. I think the most likely reason is that it is a season of change. While life's changes are often the thing I dread coping with, somehow in autumn the change is something I long for all year. I welcome the colors, the crisp air, the scent of a fire, the magic of falling leaves, of animals busily preparing for winter, and how all of this asks me to evaluate my own path. Fall the inspires me.
It should be clear that I am in love with nature. From landscapes and skies to the human form and expressive faces the variety and awe inspiring beauty of the natural world does not disappoint. Find a moment in our ever-harried and hurried modern world to actually see how elegant and lovely the world around us is. Nature is amazing. Even the most humble of creatures, a field mouse, a snail, a bird should humble us with their design and function. This morning a I sat very still and watched birds flit out of trees and shrubs to a feeder and then continue on. Woodpecker, jays, tits, doves, starlings and even a kestrel all shared the stage in my urban backyard. Their color, movement, agility and grace is astounding. As a backdrop, the trees are turning yellow and red, revealing so much more of the life hidden from my view since spring. So much to see if you take the time.
For me this is the key. In autumn life comes into full relief. Just like more-easily seeing the paths of various birds and critters as they traverse the wooded hill outside of my window, I also see myself and the various paths I am taking. This revelation is my autumn ritual. Its takes time and effort but it is not an act of will any more than trees are willing their leaves to drop. It just happens. For as long as I can remember, it begins in September and continues on well into November. I think and I feel. I journal and reflect on. I practice self-care and tread softly around my heart. Much like the trees after they have shed their cover, my heart is laid bare by this season. I guess that sounds a bit scary but I would say this is exactly what makes autumn my favorite season. I feel it. Profoundly and deeply. That truth is where so much of my work comes from at this time of year. The exposure of what I think, feel and fear is like taking a prolonged look at anything natural. I see the beauty and wonder of my life. I am grateful to simply have the opportunity to create, to share and to experience yet another autumn.
What about you? What season speaks to you? What do you feel as seasons change? What rituals do you practice? What in nature inspires you?